Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.
Jesus paints a vivid picture of the events surrounding his return to usher in God’s Kingdom: those who serve Jesus faithfully through generosity, kindness and care for the suffering will be received in love. Those who neglect the needy, reject Christ’s commands and stray from God will be judged harshly. No human being is perfect: we sin every day. Yet Jesus has promised by our baptism to remember us when he comes into his Reign, and God covenants with us to forgive our sins. Now is the time to live more faithfully into your baptism as a beloved, forgiven child of God in Christ Jesus. What can you do to be generous, kind, and caring, toward the relief of human suffering all around you? We who follow Jesus can make a difference in someone’s life through a simple word, a few dollars or a listening ear. Join us as we serve the world in obedience to Jesus, who promises to embrace us in love by our baptism. ~Matthew 25:31-46
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