Texts: Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 24:36-44; and Romans 13:11-14
Listen to the lectionary text for this first Sunday of Advent that Laura didn’t read to you. Matthew 24:36-44:
36“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
There is no questioning that this is an odd passage, especially for the first Sunday of Advent when we light the candle of hope. Truth be told, earlier in the week when I had to decide what scriptures to list in the worship guide, I ran from this text. I just didn’t feel up for it. The first thing that I thought of when I read it was an old song that we use to sing years ago in youth group. The title of the song was, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” It was then, as it is now, a horrifying song meant to scare the bejesus out of young people. Larry Schultz knows it but won’t admit it because it was a low moment in church music history. It went like this: