We are now at the end of the current church year. Following our observance of All Saints Sunday, we conclude our year with three weeks of parables and teachings from Jesus which give us much to think about going into our future. The texts during this last month of the church year refer to the topic of last things, and how we are to wait for this last judgment.
The three texts from chapter 25 of St. Matthew’s gospel contain remarkable context for the end of the year, but they also anticipate the themes for the new church year which begins with Advent, and that seasons’ own themes of anticipation and hope and promise.
The three texts we will hear this month provide guidance on how to wait for the next coming of Christ. This question of “how” brings with it several ethical considerations.
For example, think about the things you do now while you wait for something. How do you make use of your time? Have you (to use the text from Matthew 25:31-46) recently fed, provided water, clothed, visited, or hosted someone? How have you spoken about another person? Have you been faithfully applying yourself to the principles of the 8th commandment? How have you loved your neighbor as yourself?
These are questions we ask both as individuals and corporately as a congregation. During this coming month we should be exploring this question of how we wait in anticipation of the return of Christ. It may lead us into new areas of service, or witness, or sharing, or invitation. Let’s see.
CLIFTON D. ESHBACH