Summary: No one know when Christ will come again. Are we ready to give an accounting of our lives if Jesus comes now? "What if" we knew the day and moment of our death. Would we change the way we live our lives?
Scripture: Matthew 24: 36-44
O God, who comes among us and who is still yet to come, as the days grow ever shorter and the nights ever longer, we cling to the promise of the light that is coming into the world. Help us to trust your promises. Let every heart here prepare a room for you. Here we are, your servants. Let it be with us according to your word. Amen.
Last week we talked about how this year, like every other year we might find ourselves celebrating Christmas like always.
Same kinds of traditions … and most of that are good.
Some open presents Christmas Eve
Others Christmas Morning
Midnight candle lighting?????
After the holidays, has anything changed?
If we always keep doing things the same way, how can we expect anything to change?
The world…. ourselves
But what if… this year is different.
Today’s scripture says no one knows when Jesus will come again... (Reread 36-37)
Summarize 45- 51 – Read 50
Summarize and read 25: 1-13 - remember... This is what will happen with the Son of Man…. Jesus comes.
What if… this year, Jesus came to celebrate with us?
But what if…. Jesus walked into our sanctuary this Christmas Eve? Today….this morning?
Are we ready?
Are we ready to meet Jesus? Or are we just mostly satisfied, and figure we’ll do better just as soon as we get a little more time?
A couple of days ago in the early morning hours, Myla Dinger’s home burned to the ground. She and her husband were lucky enough to get out… along with the family dog.
But “what if” our house burned down, when we were sleeping, and we never woke up. “What if” even as we sit here this morning, we suffer a fatal heart attack, stroke or any of a thousand known, and who knows how many yet undiscovered ways our bodies can suddenly stop functioning?
What is time? Who can easily and briefly explain this? Who can comprehend this, even in thought, so as to express it in a word? Yet what do we discuss more familiarly and knowingly in conversation than time? Surely, we understand it when we talk about it, and also understand it when we hear others talk about it. What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone who asks me, I do not know."
--Augustine, Confessions, Book xi, Chapter 14.
The Bible tells us that life is extremely brief.
The Old Testament describes time as:
"swifter than a weaver’s shuttle" (Job 7:6).
"a tale that is told" (Psalm 90:9 KJV).
"grass [that] withers, the flower [that] fades" (Isaiah 40:7-8 NRSV).
The New Testament says: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while, then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)
The Bible instructs us on the use of time.
The Old Testament advises us to ask for guidance: "Teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart (Psalm 90:12 NRSV).
The New Testament warns us to: "Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil"(Ephesians 5:15-16 NRSV).
The Scrooge Story (Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”) The musical version starring Albert Finney.
Spirit of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas yet to come.
Granted, we don’t hear Christ mentioned in this story. But as Christians, do we not look for Christ is all things? And isn’t the “spirit” of this story about a changed life?
“What if” we looked at the “Spirits” as manifestations of the “Holy Spirit” working in the Scrooge’s heart and soul?
The overwhelming joy at realizing he was still alive…. A second chance and he made the most of it!
His first words “I REPENT!” (Sounds like a Christian story to me)
“What if” we knew the exact time and day of your death. What would we change. Anything? If the answer is yes, perhaps those changes should begin right now.. this moment.
A man was seated on a park bench when a small lad about 5 years old sat down and started winding what appeared to be a prized possession - a Mickey Mouse watch. "What a neat watch! Does it tell you the time?" The stranger asked. "No, you gotta look at it," said the boy.
We gotta look at it… We can’t just look at the watch… We can’t just “talk” about a change, commitment, surrender in our lives, we gotta look at our lives and DO something about the changes we know we need to make… Today right now … right this moment.
Choose Today - Don’t Delay.
"Now is the acceptable time." "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work."