201202 Advent Meditation

In Worship by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

Text:  Mark 13:28-37

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he[a] is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Necessity for Watchfulness

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert;[b] for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”


This text occurs near the end of Jesus’ life when he and the disciples were in Jerusalem.  Jesus has just told the disciples that the Temple “will be completely demolished.  Not one stone will be left on top of another,” Mark 13:2.  That comment caused the disciples to be consumed with curiosity about the time this would occur.  Scholars think Jesus may have been referring to the destruction of Jerusalem by Emperor Titus of Rome in A.D. 70 to suppress a Jewish uprising.  The historian Josephus estimated that about 1.1 million were killed and many were taken away as slaves.  The Arch of Titus adjacent to the Colosseum in Rome has an icon of a menorah engraved as a symbol of Titus’ defeat of the Jews.

If Jesus died in approximately 29 AD, then this event would have occurred about 40 years later.  In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place,” Mark 13:30.

Mixed with this prophecy of Jerusalem was also talk of when the “Coming of the Son of Man” would occur.  Jesus told his disciples, “No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, nor the angels in heaven or the Son himself,” Mark 13:32.  This was followed by the warning, “…since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard!  Stay alert!”  Mark 13:32-33.

One could conclude that the key to the future is prepared waiting.  Jesus warns against guesswork and prediction in regard to the Parousia.  Living with integrity in the present prepares one for the future.


In Good Time…
by Abimbola T. Alabi

Life can seem an endless maze,
The twists and turns, lulls and delays,
But things always fall into place…
In good time.

Friends will sometimes go away.
Some may disappoint or others betray,
But new ones will come to stay…
In good time.

The hurt of getting something wrong,
And the lesson it often brings along
Are there, you see, to make you strong…
In good time.

Kindness freely given away,
Unnoticed now, will somehow find its way
Back to you and come to stay…
In good time.

Efforts seem not to pay to plan?
Forge on friend, doing the best you can.
Fortune will find the deserving man…
In good time.

Life can be tough, there’s no doubt,
But hope is the thing we can’t do without.
Right things with joy will come about…
In good time.


Dear Father, we know it is futile to attempt to guess the day when this life is completed and Jesus’ kingdom comes in the fullest sense to earth.  So we ask you to fill us with fortitude and steadfastness.  May we not waste our time guessing about the future but rather seize the moments we have in the present to live in ways that glorify you and testify to the beauty of a life as your children.  In Jesus’ name I pray this.  Amen.


When you are waiting in line at the grocery store or in the bank, attempt to focus on something other than waiting.  Look at the people around you who are also waiting and pick one out to pray for.  Think about how you can use your time waiting for Jesus to come to bless the people who wait with you.  What have you learned about this experience.

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