Being Prepared – a Reflection for Advent 2

Advent 2 2012

Luke 3:1-6

Marian Free

Woodbine Willie

Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

In the name of God who is coming to call us all to account. Amen.

I wonder how you envisage judgement day? Do you see God seated on a throne with books of your good and bad deeds laid out before him? Or do you think that when you breathe your last you will simply make an easy transition to heaven? Do you think about what you might do before that day to be prepared?

I guess that I stand somewhere between the idea of the throne and of the easy transition. I am not convinced that a God who enters the world as a vulnerable baby and allows himself to be nailed to the cross, is a God that is absorbed with thinking of ways to keep us out of heaven. Neither do I think that God keeps score, for that would rob the cross of its meaning and imply that we could achieve salvation through our own efforts. I do believe however that we are accountable for how we behave in this life and that we will stand before God to give an account.

How do we prepare for such an occasion? Do we worry ourselves sick trying to reach some imaginary high standard? Do we need to become serious, moralizing, fun- destroying do-gooders? Do we put ourselves into a straight jacket so that we can be sure that we will avoid doing those things which would lead us to hell?

I don’t think so. I believe that the most important thing that we can do to be prepared for the end is to trust in God’s unfailing love and in response to that love endeavour to be the best we can. In coming to this opinion, I have found this poem by Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy to be helpful. It’s called “Well?” and it was written by Studdert Kennedy when he was an army chaplain during WWI. It is written in dialect so I apologize ahead of time if I slip in and out of the accent. It is published in a collection of Studdert Kennedy’s poems called Unutterable Beauty and can be found on the Internet if you’d like to read it for yourself. I think it speaks for itself and may give you something to think about as you prepare for the coming of Jesus. (There are also recitations of the poem on You tube)



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