|Lent 4, Year B||March 15, 2015||Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B||Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21|
|Lent 3, Year B||March 8, 2015||Third Sunday in Lent, Year B 2015||Exodus 20:1-17|
|Lent 2, Year B||March 1, 2015||Second Sunday in Lent, Year B, 2015||Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 8:31-38|
|Lent 1, Year B||February 22, 2015||Lent 1, Year B||Mark 1:9-15|
|Ash Wednesday, Year B||February 18, 2015||Ash Wednesday, Year B||Matthew 6:1-6,16-21|
|The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||February 15, 2015||Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||2 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Mark 9:2-9|
|The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Year B||February 1, 2015||Luke 2:22-40||Luke 2:22-40|
|The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||January 25, 2015||Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||Mark 1:14-20|
|The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||January 18, 2015||Second Sunday after Epiphany, Year B||I Corinthians 6:12-10|
|The First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||January 11, 2015||First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B||The Book of Common Prayer –Holy Baptism|
|Second Sunday after Christmas, Year B||January 4, 2015||Second Sunday of Christmas, Year B||Luke 2:41-52|
|Two Christmas Eve Meditations||December 24, 2014||Christmas Eve, Year B||Luke 2:1-20, John 1:1-5, 14, 16|
|Advent 3, Year B||December 14, 2014||Third Sunday of Advent, Year B||Psalm 126, I Thessalonians 5:16-24|
|Advent 2, Year B||December 7, 2014||Second Sunday of Advent, Year B||Mark 1:1-8|
|➤Advent 1, Year B||November 30, 2014||First Sunday in Advent, Year B||Mark 13:24-37|
Advent 1, Year B
Sermon Date:November 30, 2014
Scripture: Mark 13:24-37
Liturgy Calendar: First Sunday in Advent, Year B
"Jesus – Second Coming"
“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…..”
Narrator: While the man was away on a journey, the slaves he had left behind worked hard all day, and then they rested, so that they could work hard again the next day, doing what had to be done.
The slave who was appointed as the doorkeeper had special responsibilities.
The doorkeeper had to stay awake through the four watches of the night—the evening watch, the midnight watch, the third watch of the night, and the final watch, when dawn at last lightened the darkness.
While everyone else slept, the doorkeeper kept watch.
When the evening was at hand, the doorkeeper locked the door from the inside.
(Doorkeeper locks the door from the inside with the key and goes and sits down)
Most nights passed uneventfully, because people did not like to travel after dark during those times because of robbers on the roads.
But still, the doorkeeper’s job was to stay awake and wait for the knock that might or might not come.
(Knock on the door)
Narrator: Now the doorkeeper must decide whether or not to open the door. Is this a person who is up to no good, or is this a friend who desires entrance?
(Doorkeeper goes to the door)
Master (who is standing outside knocking): Greetings, doorkeeper. This is your Master. Open the door.
(Doorkeeper opens the door)
Doorkeeper: It IS you! Welcome home, Master. Let me rouse the household, so that we can all welcome you home.
Master: No—I can’t stay. I’m only stopping now, to check with you, my doorkeeper, to see how things are going in my absence. And then I must immediately leave again, and even I don’t know when I’ll be back.
Doorkeeper: Master, then at least come in and stay with me for a while, so that I can tell you what we’ve been doing.
(Master and doorkeeper come down front. A table is set for tea. They sit down. The doorkeeper pours some tea for the Master.)
Master: Well, doorkeeper, what has this household been doing in my absence?
Doorkeeper: First of all, Master, every morning we gather and remember all you told us before you went away. In this way, we keep your instructions new and alive, so that they do not pass away. We remember all you’ve told us and we try to carry out your instructions.
Master (obviously pleased): Well, this news makes my heart glad. So what are some of the ways you’ve carried out my instructions?
Doorkeeper: Do you remember how you told us that we should share the good news about your work here? So this is part of what we’ve been doing—sharing the good news about your work by doing some of that work ourselves. We’ve tried to continue your works of healing here in this community.
Master: Wonderful! What else?
Doorkeeper: Do you remember how you told us to take up your cross and to follow you? So when our work brings suffering to us, we accept that as part of our work.
Master (thoughtfully): So you all have suffered in my absence?
Doorkeeper: Yes, Master. Some of us have aged considerably in your absence. We can’t do things for you as readily as we once did, but we are reluctant to stop our work for you, and so we continue on, in spite of our aches and pains.
And others of us are so busy that we find it hard to do your work because we have so much work to do that seems to be our own. But we still find time to serve you and carry out your particular work in the midst of everything else we’ve been given to do.
Master: I’m so grateful for the dedication of this household to my work.
Doorkeeper: Another thing, Master. We remember that you told us that those who want to be greatest must be the servant of all. And so part of taking up our crosses has been that we’ve consciously tried to serve one another and care for one another in this household, and then to do the same for all of the people around us out in the community, both as representatives of this particular household, and also with our individual acts of love for those we are with every day.
Doorkeeper: We try to keep your commandments. And sometimes we’re more successful than we are at other times.
Master: Do you all keep track of those times you’ve come up short and then remember to ask God for forgiveness?
Doorkeeper: Yes, Master, we do that. When we’ve wronged one another, we ask each other for forgiveness, and we remember to ask God to forgive us as well.
Master: Excellent. That’s a great way to free yourselves to do my good work. Confession is good for the soul!
Doorkeeper: And here’s another thing we’ve been doing. Do you remember a rich young man who came to visit you once? He wanted to know the way to eternal life. And you told him to give up all he had and to come, follow you.
Master (with sadness) Yes, I remember that young man. He was so put together. His only fault was that he cared so much about all he had that he was enslaved by his possessions. He just couldn’t give any of it up to be a member of this household, and he made the decision to leave. My heart was broken.
Doorkeeper: Master, while you’ve been gone, we’ve been going through all of our things. We’re working on giving up what we don’t need. We know that others can use those things. And we’ve found that we don’t need much. So we are giving a lot of things away so that when you return for good, you will find that this dwelling place is clean, uncluttered, and ready for you.
Master: And what about all of the things in your minds that keep you separated from me?
Doorkeeper: We’re working on ridding ourselves of those things too. We’ve been letting go of those things through prayer and by supporting one another.
Master: Doorkeeper, it sounds as if this household has been intentional about preparing for my return. And I’m really happy about that. Obviously, all of you know that complacency is not my cup of tea.
And now, I must go.
(Master gets up and puts the cloak back around him.)
Doorkeeper: Master, when will you return again?
(Master and doorkeeper walk toward the door.)
Master: Even I don’t know the answer to that. I must be about my Father’s business, and so I must travel far and wide, but my great desire is to be back here in my home once again, and I will return.
Doorkeeper: Master, come back as soon as you can.
And while we wait for you, we’ll all remember your words and keep doing your work.
Master: And you, my doorkeeper?
Doorkeeper: Through all my days, and through all the watches of the night, in my work and in my rest, in my joys and in my sorrows, in my life and even as I lay dying, my deepest hope and greatest longing is to keep awake and to watch for you.
(Master goes out the door—doorkeeper locks the door, returns to seat, and silence is observed)