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Daily Devotional August
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United Church of Christ

August 3, 2010

Get Ready to Celebrate

Excerpt from Mark 13:32-37

"Keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come."

Reflection by Martin B. Copenhaver

In this passage Jesus says that we are to live as if he will return any time. He says that we are to act as if we are servants who do not know the exact moment when the master will come home. So we are to keep alert and be ready, treating each moment as if he is about to walk through the door.

When I was a teenager and my parents left me on my own while they took a trip out of town, sometimes they would be coy about the time of their return. They wanted to keep me wondering when they would be back so that I wouldn't get into mischief while they were away. Is that something like what Jesus is saying here?

Well, perhaps, in part. Jesus does expect us to live in an upright manner. But, in the end, preparing for his return also means being ready to celebrate. When our children were young, we always kept party hats and noisemakers in our dining room because we never knew when the events of the day would be cause for celebration. Birthdays one can prepare for, but other kinds of celebrations require a more constant preparedness. And when Jesus shows up in big and small ways in our lives, it is cause for great celebration. Will you remember where you have put your party hat and noisemaker? Will you be prepared to whoop it up?

Jesus, help me to prepare for your appearance in our world and in my life with a heart that is tuned for joy. Amen.

About the Author
Martin B. Copenhaver is Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wellesley, Massachusetts. His new book, This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers, co-authored with Lillian Daniel, has just been published.

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The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is a free service and is supported by your gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission. Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America,adapted. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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