But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
~ Matthew 24.36-44
Is it possible to be wrapped up in eating and marrying and still be readied for the coming flood? I say yes. That would be an Advent for those in the middle, for the rest of us. If this describes you then sing, sing in the days and weeks ahead as if this is your last noel.
The rights just know it’ll be literal:
two in the field, BAM!, then only one.
The lefts focus on the figurativeness
of it all: awakeness and readyness.
The rest of us walk the wide middle
ground of unknowing, listening to
Christmas with Conniff, tip-toeing to
the back of the house to make out while
the kids are drunk on screens, toasting
the holidays with family and friends both
living and gone, all the time tuned to an
actual gnawingness that a break-in
will come and the thief will have his way,
a way we know we know little of.
But the rest of us live alive enough,
our middling voices an expectant rift
raised as if this were our very last noel.
So sing we now of Christmas with one eye
cocked for the God of shadows who flies
the winter skies with gentle justice until
that day and hour when the Son of Man
lacks no more. Then will he spill forth,
stealing away what was already his.
For a different perspective on this passage I invite you to visit Winn Collier’s place – http://winncollier.com. Winn and I will be sharing our thoughts on select Advent verses each Monday during the season. We haven’t discussed what the other was writing so it’ll be interesting to see what happens as we walk straight together into this most wonderful time of the year.