Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Reading: Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, 4 not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:12b-14)
Observation: It is generally understood that Jesus was talking about the last judgement here that the one “left behind” is the one that was not ready to receive the glory of heaven. I submit this morning, an alternative hypothesis. As you can see by the footnote on this gospel verse, the church has accepted the idea that the one left is the one that is not prepared. I am sure that the scholars and theologians that are much wiser than I will ever be, got it right. However, it is a fun departure for me, in my mind, to think about what if God is preparing me for the battle that is to come and at the appointed time, he will take all those who are not ready away and I will be left with only those who believe to fight alongside of me. If that is the case, I need to make sure that my mind and body are prepared, as well as aligning myself correctly with the holy Spirit, to make sure that I will not waver or be distracted from the will of God in this battle or the next one, whatever God wills for me, be done.
Personification: Self-Control This battle to display the fruit of self-control in my life is the present battle that I feel I can only win if the grace and peace of our Lord is with me. It is beyond clear to me that I am a worthless sinner, I can only hope that God will continue to save me from myself and I, for my part, will continue to work tirelessly to put my life in order to have it, somehow, line up with His will.
Prayer: Lord, it is my hope that you will purify me in this life, so that I will be ready to give you praise and glory in the next. I don’t know what you have in store for us, and it is not important to me to know, but I want to be given every grace necessary to follow your will. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.