The gospel reading for today talks about watchfulness, that we need to be ready for Jesus' return, whenever that may be. We can't know when. We could read that as being watchful, like a soldier guarding when he knows the enemy will attack. But that puts us in a frame of fear. We shouldn't be afraid of the Lord's return.
I like the image of the folks waiting for the bridegroom to come that's elsewhere in the scripture. It still reminds us to be ready and waiting, but it's not in fear. It's in expectation and joy. Part of the way we can be ready and waiting in expectation and joy is right before us. As we gather at the table, we remember his words, his teaching, and his way and commit ourselves again to be a part of it.
Let us pray.
God who loves each one of us dearly, let us never be fearful of the times when we encounter you. We thank you for Jesus, who communicated your love for us in words, in teaching, and even in going to the cross to defeat sin and death for us. We thank you for these symbols of his sacrifice, that also remind us of that love.
Now, as we take the bread and cup, fill us with your Spirit, that we can wait in expectant joy for your coming and carry the Good News of your loving presence to the waiting world.
In the name of Jesus, our Risen Lord, Amen.