Summary: Christian Somnambulism is walking through life like a sleep-walker, unaware of the reality of God’s kingdom in today’s world.
Mark 13: 24 – 37 / Christian Somnambulism
Intro: Mark Twain once called on a certain young lady in Hannibal, MO. He was late getting off work. By the time he got to the livery stable to rent a horse and buggy, the only animal left was a very old, bony, swayback, scraggy, bedraggled-looking horse. He arrived at the young lady’s home much later than anticipated. Furious, the young lady made him wait 35 minutes. When she finally appeared she glanced out the window, saw the horse and said, “Is that the best you could do?” --- Mark went to the window, gasped and said, “I can’t believe it! When I got here that was a spry, young colt!”
I. The season of Advent begins today. It is traditionally know as the season of waiting, of anticipation of the coming of Christ Jesus into our lives.
A. Family traditions at Christmas vary. Ours was to eat dinner, go to church and after church open gifts. I remember one holiday season when our son, Rick was about 6. On the way home from church he could hardly contain his enthusiasm. He blurted out, “I think I’m going to be excited.”
B. VS. 30 – “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” That is indeed a reason to be excited!
C. When I was in college, registration day was dreaded --- mostly, we stood in lines: A line for student loans, another for dormitory assignments, another for each class, yet another to get your advisor’s signature and so on. What we learned from this experience was to wait. / Most college students today have it very easy when it comes to registering for classes. Just a few clicks on the computer and presto, you’re registered / no waiting.
II. Mostly, we are an impatient society. We have become accustomed to instant gratification and get very impatient and disgruntled when we have to WAIT!
A. There are still lines: lines at the bank, lines at the grocery store, lines at Walmart, lines of traffic at stop lights, lines of chairs in the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Most of us only wait with a lot of impatience.
B. The sadness of our waiting is when we lose the excitement of anticipation to the dreariness of apathy. We’ve all known the sense of loss and disappointment over a hoped-for-future that does not come quickly.
C. Even Christmas day has its own measure of disappointment. The packages are opened, the gifts admired and put away. The tree comes down; the manger scenes put away for another year and the long-awaited day passes with a sense that nothing has happed. We have waited, and waited and nothing has happened, nothing has changed.
III. The condition I have just described is Christian somnambulism. Christian Sleep-walking: going through the motions without being aware or our surroundings, ignoring the wonder and joy.
A. VS. 32 – 33 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. After 2000 years it is difficult to stand on tiptoes waiting for the Kingdom.
B. The problem with the way we watch and wait is we forget God is also at work here and now! There are things that are happening now which call us to respond as disciples of Christ Jesus.
C. Not long ago, I was reading a magazine article in the doctor’s office while I waited. It seemed like just a few minutes because I was involved in reading an interesting story. It was actually 15 minutes. Have you ever noticed that when you keep busy, the time seems to pass more quickly?
Conclu: We are not called to Christian Somnambulism. We are called to Busy Watching. --- Old hymn, “Work For The Night Is Coming.” --- “Keep awake” / “Watch” / It’s easier if you’re busy and the time goes by more quickly. Soon, the Kingdom of God will be a reality. Don’t just wait for it to happen; MAKE it happen!