Sunday December 3rd, 2017 – First Sunday of Advent
What is Jesus Doing?
In 2007 Andrew Purves, during one of my Canonical oral examinations for ordination in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, impressed upon me that the popular expression, “What Would Jesus Do?” was missing the point. Purves went on to say, “The real question we need to ask is, What Is Jesus Doing?” In his book, The Crucifixion of Ministry, published that same year, Andrew Purves went much deeper with this instruction to pastors, and said, “We must invite and enable a conversation in which a parishioner’s story and the gospel story interpenetrate one another so that a deeper understanding of a life situation occurs in terms of Jesus Christ.”
Yes, Jesus is risen, and Jesus will come again, and we know from the prophecies of Jesus in the Gospel according to Mark 13 that there is much that will occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Mark 13 is definitely a message for us today. I cannot turn on the TV or review the many news websites on the internet or look at the various social media platforms available on my cell phone without feeling like the prophecies of Jesus in Mark 13 are ever pressing in on us. For example, how the signs of the close of the age (Mark 13:3-13), and the abomination of desolation (Mark 13:14-23) point toward the overwhelming increase of stories we hear and read about today of so many prominent leaders caught up in all kinds of immoral behaviors, such as financial misconduct, abuse of power, sexual perversions that even involve middle and high school teachers, mass murder of innocent people including children, and, yes, abortion of the unborn in their mothers’ wombs.
You too must keep watch… (Mark 13:35)
In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 13, Jesus also instructs us how to respond to the alarming growth of tragic and horrifying world events, some even happening in our own families and neighborhoods.
This chapter was not given to promote discussions on prophetic timetables but to stimulate right living for God in a world where God is largely ignored.
In Matthew 28, when Jesus gave the Great Commission to his disciples to make disciples of all nations and people, Jesus also said this, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of age.”
I believe we need to be aware of Jesus’ presence in our life and ministry, every waking moment, by asking the question, “What Is Jesus Doing?” If we are ignoring God now, how can we possibly be preparing our hearts and minds to watch for the return of God’s only Son, our Lord, Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ?
This week’s reflection has been written The Rev. Ron McKeon. Ron began his relationship with Anglicans for Life as a staff accountant in 2004 while a seminary student at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA. After graduation and ordination to the Transitional Deaconate in 2007 Ron was elected to the AFL Board of Directors and became AFL’s Treasurer, a role he continues to fulfill. Today Ron and his wife Debby serve as SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) missionaries in the Anglican Church in Brazil – Diocese of Recife in the city of João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. Ron is a parish priest and special assistant to Suffragan Bishop Flávio Soares the Diocesan Missionary Bishop. They have five daughters and seven grandchildren in the USA. Learn more about Ron and Debby’s ministry.
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Tags: Author: The Rev. Ron McKeon, disciples, gospel, Great Commission, Jesus, lectionary life app, Mark, return,