by Bob Wickizer

The Long Haul
Rev. Bob Wickizer
Genesis 15:1-6; Hebrews 11:1-3(4-7) 8-16; Psalm 33; Luke 12:32-40
12 August 2001

One of the many good things about the Episcopal Church is that our Bible lessons every Sunday are predetermined and not chosen by the preacher. Generally we find that the Sunday lessons relate to the liturgical or even the seasonal calendar and today is no exception. Here we are in the dog days of August just dragging along wondering how we are going to get through another day of air conditioning and we hear this strange reading in church about being ready because JESUS is coming again like a thief in the night. We are admonished to be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected time. What does this stuff have to do with the dog days of summer?

Luke wrote this Gospel about the time that the first eyewitnesses to the crucifixion-resurrection were dying. That first generation of Christians had fully expected Christ to return again in glory to judge the living and the dead DURING THEIR LIFETIME. When these early eyewitness Christians began to die without Christ's return, people began to reconsider their expectations about the second coming. Luke gives us this story as a means of encouraging us to stay alert until Christ comes again. Like the brothers on the National Public Radio Show, "Car Talk" joked, "Jesus is coming, look busy."

Luke gives us this lesson not only to encourage us to keep alert but to tell us and that bewildered band of early Christians that we might be in for a long wait before Christ comes to us again. The tone of this story reminds me of a scene in "Little House on the Prairie" where the author's parents notice the signs in the Minnesota fall weather that the coming winter is likely to be a long haul. Mama's response to the impending blizzards of 1888 was to say in a tone of resignation, "Guess I better put up some more canning."

This move to Laurel is my family's third move in six years. For those of ...

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