SERMON TITLE: “While We Are Waiting”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 13:24-37
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: November 29, 2020, at First UMC (First Sunday in Advent)
On a round table in the church narthex, there’s a “free calendars” sign along with 15 calendars. That’s how many are left after many of us have already taken home one or more. Some of the calendars are from military organizations. Others are from nature or animal conservancy groups. There are calendars with pictures of wild animals, dogs, cats, and scenery. One even has science cartoons. I’m not sure where all those calendars came from. Chris Hicks brought a few, but the rest just seemed to have multiplied or appeared out of thin air. So, if you need a calendar, come and get one. Then, you can begin writing all your important appointments and dates, while you are waiting for 2021 to come.
Because of the pandemic, I think we’re all looking forward to the new year more than usual. While we are waiting, we’re hoping, hoping, hoping that life will be better. Since none of us has ever lived through an experience like COVID-19 before, our level of anticipation is off the charts. We can’t wait for this time of trouble to be over and for the new time of salvation to come.
If you can relate to that desperate feeling of hoping and waiting, then you’re ready to hear this message I have for you today. In the Christian season of Advent, we aren’t only marking the days until the birth of baby Jesus at Christmas. Along with Christians throughout the centuries, we’re also waiting for God to set things straight once and for all. That’s why the Gospel reading for this first Sunday of Advent deals with the subject of the return of Christ at the end of the age. This morning, I’d like us to look at this text from Mark 13 and think about what we can be doing, while we are waiting.