Mark 13:24-37 – First Sunday of Advent – For Sunday, November 30, 2014
â€œWatch out! Stay alert! You donâ€™t know when the time is coming.â€ (Mark 13:33)
The first scriptures of Advent are unsettling. I donâ€™t like them. Iâ€™d prefer to hurry to the next weekâ€™s readings, to arrive in Bethlehem as quickly as possible. Joseph and Mary and the shepherds and the magi and the angels are familiar. They are safe. After all, I put their ceramic figurines on my mantel.
The scripture that shouts at me to Watch out! never feels safe. I dread the questions these fierce apocalyptic verses cause me to ask.
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Will I ever be healed?
I weary of waiting to be healed. First, Iâ€™m talking about my body. Once, as a youth, I felt immortal. I did. Embarrassing confession: in my twenties and thirties, I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d age like others. Even after a wrenching broken leg, even after a first and second knee surgery by my late forties, I thought Iâ€™d be . . . different. Iâ€™d never be the one with the cane or walker or the one whose doctor warned you have to count calories or reduce cholesterol. I would forever disdain the elevator and bound up the steps.
But aging gets the last laugh. Judgment wears clever disguises. Continue reading →