DAY 4 • DECEMBER 16
“But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, 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. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
The book of Mark tells the story of Jesus. In this specific passage, Jesus tells his followers what it will be like when he comes to reign over all the earth (what we call his second coming or advent). He tells his followers that his return will be triumphant and glorious. He warns that though we can’t be sure of the hour, we should always be ready. That Jesus talks about his second coming during his time on earth is significant because it informs us what the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus is all about: his ultimate restoration and reign over all things. We see that the purpose of all He has done is the renewal of all creation. How beautiful that we worship a God who loves us and created us to be with him. Even when we choose sin, and as a result are separated from God, he pursues us! This Christmas season we need to be reminded who Jesus is, and also that he created us to be with him. We celebrate his birth because it brought into our midst the child that would grow up to be the hope of the world!
Thank God for the gift of his son. Praise him for his pursuit of you, even when you have not pursued him.
Spend a few moments listening for the voice of God today. You could choose to sit in silence or perhaps read your bible, go on a walk, listen to worship music, or any other activity that allows you to hear what God might have to say to you today.
Ask God to transform you into a person who looks and acts more like Jesus, someone who is focused on the hope of salvation. Pray that God would use you to bring others to come to know him.
Today, take one small step to tell someone in your life about Jesus. Who in your life needs to hear about this hope we are referencing today? How can you show them the love of God through your actions and words? Say a prayer, write a note, make a phone call, or do whatever God puts on your heart to share his love with someone else today. If you need a tool to help you start this conversation, perhaps ask this person to take the Alpha Course with you this January (https://www.b4church.org/group/alpha/)
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