Advent Devotional-December 4

December 4

Mark 13:24-37

 ‘But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light, 
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
   and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 
Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

 ‘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. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 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. 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, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’ 


We strive and we struggle to know what is to come. We worry and we stress over what we do not know. However, there is rest: because we are promised peace in the here and now, thus we may find comfort in the unknowns. All of these uncertainties and all of these concerns have been burdening us with fear. Fear of failure, fear of discomfort, and even fear of differences. But alas, we find that we need not be afraid in the truth that what is to come is out of our control. The end has already been determined, as we continue to unfold its journey. Spending too much time trying to figure out these unknowns, we have become distracted from what should be calling our attention right before us, right in this very moment.


We are assured that God is powerful in that he has created life and has overcome death, so therefore, we are compelled to place our entire faith in that God also will direct us in these unknowns. Distracted by differences and concerned with congruity, we yearn to define what remains ambiguous as we fight to avoid any insecurity. Through these illusions and these barriers we construct, we simply overlook the beautiful truth that lies within and around us: these truths of peace, of hope and of love. We are not asked to foresee the future nor are we expected to understand that which we do not know; however, we are rather gifted with the grace and the calling to embrace these truths within and around each of us.


Accepting God’s promise of restoration, we can be at peace and at rest as we intentionally and wakefully seek a deeper knowledge of these truths. For in the promise we find peace and in the unknown lies our hope, yet it is through love that we are moved to diligently serve and to patiently wait.


Julia Nelson

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