dec   em ber 21


DAILY REFLECTION

matthew 24:42-44

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

HOW WE CAN BE JESUS NOW: Be Ready for His Return

Be ready. Jesus is giving a couple examples of how this readiness takes shape. He reminds his readers that in the day of Noah those who weren’t ready were taken away in the flood. He goes on to say that this is how it will be in the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field and one will be taken and another left, two women will be grinding at the mill and one will be taken and another left. These texts have often become paired with a sort of rapture theology that believes when Jesus comes he will take with him all those who believe and those left will be left to endure a tribulation, but this isn’t so. In the time of Noah, it was those who would endure judgment who were taken away into the flood, and it will be for judgment that those will be taken away when Jesus comes. He will leave those who believe in him to inherit the earth.

1 Thessalonians 5 says that Jesus will come like a thief in the night, and Jesus affirms this here. He associates us as the Master of the house, and if we had known what time a thief was coming to break in and steal, we would have never slept. Instead our anticipation would have made us ready for the intruder. This is what Jesus calls us to. Are you doing the work of the Father? When Jesus comes, will he see his servant doing his work? Are you concerned with heavenly things for heaven’s coming? May we throw off everything that hinders us from completing what God has for us and run the race marked out for us (Heb. 12:1-2).


FOR KIDS

From Your Friends in Kid’s Klub


what is 
love?


FAMILY ACTIVITY

Nativity Scene

materials:

• NATIVITY SCENE PIECES

• BIBLE

(read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible and put the pieces/characters on as they appear in the story)

Use this week to set up a nativity scene in your home. Usually, a nativity scene consists of figurines depicting baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, three Wise Men (also called Magi), an angel, and some animals on the night of Jesus’ birth. The purpose of the nativity scene is to remember the humble coming of God’s freedom to earth and the amazing joy that surrounded his birth. If you don’t have a nativity scene, this is a great time to buy or even make your own. Just like the Advent Wreath, there is no “right” way to set up your nativity scene. If you have children, it can be a family creative project. You could cut out the figurines from construction paper or felt. You could even use LEGOs and Barbies, as long as your children understand what those figurines are representing!

But this year, don’t put Jesus in the scene just yet. Wait until Christmas morning to put him in the manger. As you are setting the scene without Jesus, take the opportunity to think through and/or talk with your family about what all the other people in the scene were anticipating at this time. What was Mary thinking and feeling? What about Joseph? What about the shepherds, who had been waiting for the freedom of God’s Messiah for hundreds of years? Do you think God gave the animals any special inclination that something so loving was about to happen in their stable?