Text: Matthew 24:36-44.
It is very interesting that the Christian calendar or the Liturgical year does not start with such seasons which call for celebrations, i.e. Christmas and Easter but with Advent which calls for watching, waiting and preparing. Christianity is about hope, expectation and preparation for the second coming of Christ.
The Gospel passage for this Sunday, Matthew 24:36-44 points to the fact of the second coming of Christ. It expresses that the time of His coming is not known to both humans and heavenly beings but to God. (Mark 13:34 & Acts 1:7), that some people would not believe in his second coming, thereby would live carelessly and be met unprepared when he comes as many were met unprepared when the flood came in the days of Noah. The Gospel passage says further that his coming would bring destruction to many who are wicked (Luke 17:22; 1 Thess. 5:1 & Jude 1:14), that there would be Armageddon by which some will be destroyed while some will be left alive (Luke 17:26; 21:34; Rev. 19:21 & Zech 14:16). The passage concludes with call for watchfulness in preparation for His coming.
Though the Bible has not given any date or specific time and season when Christ will come, it has not failed to emphasise the certainty that he will surely come. Christ promise of his second coming cannot fail. That the promise has been on for over two thousand years will not negate its fulfillment. Jesus declared in verse 35 thus: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”. The early Christian lived with the expectation of His coming and the end of the world. To them the world could end any time; therefore, they lived each day as it came.
Similarly, brethren let us not take away our attention from Christ second coming; the fact that world is going to an end and the fact that we are going to die one day. We are to clothe ourselves with the Spirit of Advent which is watching waiting and preparing. St. Paul gave us 20 commands to regulate our conduct both to our neighbours and God as we awaits Christ’s second coming in today’s epistle, Romans 13:8-14. These are: Not owing any man anything, to love one another, Not to commit adultery, not to kill, not to steal, not to bear false witness, not to covet, to awake out of sleep, to cast off works of darkness, to put on armour of light, to walk honestly, Not to walk in strife, not to walk in envying, not to walk in wantonness, not to walk in rioting, not to walk in drunkenness, to put on the Lord Jesus and not to provide for the flesh to fulfill its lust.
Beloved, Christ is coming again, Let us therefore put away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi