When I was a kid, the faith communities that we were a part of were obsessed with "end times" theology.
Among the people in the various churches we attended over the years, there was always endless speculation about what was commonly referred to as "The Second Coming of Jesus."
I also remember hearing more than my fair share of sermons about what was going to happen when "Jesus came back." And brother, it wasn't good. Especially if you "unsaved."
There was this passage of Scripture that the preachers in my churches would often quote Jesus from the book of Mark:
"Be awake. Be alert... You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning."I used to lay awake at night praying to God not to let Jesus come back. I was terrified that I would be on the outside looking in if he did return. Those verses seemed full of judgment and anger.
But Jesus wasn't threatening his followers when he said these words, he was encouraging them to be awake and aware---because God is always coming, God is always arriving, God is always returning to us again, and again.
Jesus was talking about the holy interruptions that we experience when we finally open our eyes and in complete readiness receive the always-arriving, always unexpected Christ.
Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:
God is invariably and ironically found in the interruptions, the discontinuities, the exceptions, the surprises--and seldom in the patterns. God has to catch us literally "off guard!"May you be surprised and interrupted today by the God who shows up in the exceptions. May you be startled by the Christ who appears in the unexpected. And may it fill you with wonder.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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