Sunday Reading

English: Readin the Bible.
Reading the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mt 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.

So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”


It seems almost silly to comment on this. It’s just a fragment of an ancient text written by an anonymous ancient author with an ancient mindset. Right? Well, yes. But I think there’s a bit more to it than that. When I read the Bible, when it really works for me, I don’t suppose that I’m reading a history book. And I don’t suppose that I’m reading a work of pure fantasy either. The Bible is something in-between and more. But I had to open myself to the Bible’s possibilities before realizing just what it could do. Or what God could do to someone while reading it.

Sometimes I get the impression that non-Christians think Christianity isn’t cool. Or they think that all Christians are just brainwashed, narrow-minded goofs. The funny thing is, I find that people who prejudge like this often aren’t so cool themselves. They’re usually pretty conflicted and just as hypocritical as any Bible-thumpin’ Christian.

Not only that. Some folks who prejudge Christians waltz around as if they’re somehow free of all bias and belief. Right… To my mind, these people are fooling themselves, supposing that they’re “objective,” “scientific,” “holistic” or whatever they wish to call it, when really they’re bound up by their own biases and beliefs a lot more than they’re willing to admit.

Having said that, I have to admit that a lot of overly zealous, cherry-picking Bible thumpers do turn me off big time. That’s partly why I hesitated doing this Sunday Reading in the first place. And why I have to question doing it every Sunday.

I think it’s important to educate ourselves about things that matter to us. And the Bible is no exception. But by educating ourselves, this doesn’t mean we should turn off our sense of wonder, our openness to heavenly guidance. That’s not being smart. It’s just being “an educated fool” as the old song goes.

When I speak about education I mean we shouldn’t use the Bible as a history book. It’s far too fuzzy and ancient. And, as far as using it as a source book for moral prohibitions, one should be careful. People who cherry-pick verses from the Bible to “prove” their point are usually ignoring some other passage that could be taken as a counterexample to their alleged proof. The Bible is vast. One part talks about wars in the name of God. Another about turning the other cheek. These seeming contradictions are usually glossed over or massaged into some kind of ancient theological system.

But I digress. The main thing to take away from today’s reading, I think, is in these lines:

For you do not know on which day your Lord will come…. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Myself, I don’t know if Jesus is really going to come again in person. But if he does, it’s silly to pretend that we can know when. The important thing is to live as if he’s right here, right now. Because you know what? I believe he is.




  1. Very good lesson Mike! I like to think of it as “Stop waiting for the end of the world to arrive and start living your life now!”

    I have a friend who sometimes speaks about the “tribulations”. The Biblical tribulations could be compared to “the beginning of the end”. I don’t believe it makes sense to dwell on the coming of a global disaster. There are always tribulations going on in the world. I don’t watch the news anymore. I don’t need to be reminded that there are problems in the world. I realize that tribulations occur in people’s lives all of the time. I’ve come through some major tests and challenges in my own life. Any one of these of these events could have ended badly for me.

    Anyone who has come close to death will tell you that “fear of death” should motivate us to live. Preparing for an apocalyptic ending is useless since death can come for anyone of us . . . at any time . . . in a billion different ways. If you live in a war torn country . . . and there a quite a few . . . “end world” predictions have little meaning. It’s already happening in those places. The same reality is true for people who are severely sick and injured. Ask a person with a terminal disease if he or she is panicking about global warming.

    If you are waiting for something bad to happen . . . rest assured it will. Bad things happen every day. There is no need to invent imaginative disasters. There is always a potential disaster looming on the horizon. My guess is that the people who are worried about an apocalypse are the ones who have never had a near death experience. They are afraid of loss and so they live in fear.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work on improving the conditions of the world. I’ve discovered recently that I prefer to think about what I want for my life, as opposed to focusing on what I don’t want. Enjoy your life while you have it. Celebrate the good things that God has bestowed upon you . . . and give thanks. God didn’t bring us into the world to worry about when our final day would arrive. Don’t be a rush to get to the finish line.

    ~ David


    • You make some really good points here, Dave. I think part of the reason I like to point out that open-mindedness is not something exclusively possessed by non-Christians is because I, myself, used to think I was open-minded during a sort of spiritual infancy to juvenile period of my formation. I assumed all Christians were narrow-minded, just as I wrote today. Thank God I got beyond that.


  2. No. That would be stereotyping. We’re all independent thinkers. I’ve met lots of open-minded Christians who understand that valuable discoveries have been made in the last two thousand that are not mentioned in the Bible. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bible contains valuable lessons for practical living. However, I feel it’s a mistake to disregard potentially useful Information because there is no mention of it in the Bible. I always try to listen to what people have to say. If I don’t like a particular piece of information because it doesn’t fit with my beliefs, then I don’t use it. I guess open-mindedness comes with maturity for some people.


    • Yes, I was also going to say that the Bible is not a science book. We hear that quite often. But I hesitated because, well, I don’t want to reinforce the idea that science (as commonly understood) can provide ultimate truth. In a sense, the Bible is a science book if we see “science” as something that generates testable hypotheses.

      What are the hypotheses of the Bible? Well, the two main ones are:

      a) Be an unrepentant evil person and fry in hell
      b) Be a good person and enjoy everlasting heaven

      Of course, we can’t fully test these hypotheses until we’re in the afterlife. So it’s not science quite like we normally think it. 🙂


  3. Mike,

    I got kick out your “be a good person or fry in hell” remark! I know that’s not what you meant, but it thought it was hilarious!

    As far as science and spirituality are concerned: I’m wouldn’t comfortable putting my faith in Einstein’s theories to get me through a dark night of soul journey. 🙂



  4. Right David, although I actually meant that statement as a scientific hypothesis. If A, then B. Or maybe it’s logic. Or both. I don’t know. It’s all getting fuzzy in my old age! 🙂 The good thing about the internet (and my library) is that I can go look it up if ever some nitpicker gets on my case. But even then, there are so many different TYPES of science. Not many people realize this too. I don’t know if I’d call science a myth. Maybe a different kind of myth than saying something like “praying makes the sun go around the earth.”

    As for Einstein, to his credit, he did say something like science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind. Very bright man, that Einstein! 😉

    Thanks for your comments Dave. There was an overtone in my statement. And you, as usual, picked up on it.


  5. Oh I don’t know if I was picking up on anything Mike. I was thought what you said was interesting. It’s difficult for people to understand that a scientific mind can coexist with a in body with a spiritual heart. They do have their conflicts at times.

    You’re right Einstein was not just a scientific genius. I recall he had some wisdom in him as well.


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