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11.28.2004    |    "Keep watch..."
...because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. These words of our Lord from Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV) were the Gospel lesson for today, the first Sunday of Advent.

As a Baptist who sometimes attends Episcopalian services, I am sometimes conflicted. The simple Baptist in me rejects most ritual as being superfluous. Baptists also know that we are all priests of God, and need no one to stand between us and the Lord. Episcopalians also seem to grasp this, and, for all of their un-Scriptural tendencies as a denomination, also include many who are Protestant in outlook -- a congregation of priests.

One of the beneficial yet superfluous aspects of the Episcopal Church is its adherance to the Catholic liturgy, and the resultant liturgical cycles of the Christian year. Beneficial for those, like me, who often need to be reminded of the glory that is God and His Son. Superfluous, given the very words of today's Gospel message: "Keep watch...you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him".

This means 24/7, 365 days a year...we never close...we are always ready. Wish I could say that was ready all of the time. May it be your joy to be ready.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.