Last Call! That’s what the beer vendors at the ballpark yell during the 7th inning (because that’s when beer sales are cut off). Last call! That’s what bartenders call out when it’s getting on to closing time (or so I’ve heard–I’ve never actually stayed at a bar until it closed).
I’ve got two Last Calls in mind today, one literal, the other metaphorical.
The literal one is Last Call! for our Advent Bible study: Great Expectations: Studies In Isaiah. The four weeks of this study will center on
Peace for God's People
Hope for God's People
Joy for God's People
Promise for God's People
We will meet at a time and in a manner that is convenient for all who wish to be a part. And since this Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent, that means we’ll be starting next week, so if you’d like to be a part of it, let me know by Friday at noon. (How’s that for a last call?)
The metaphorical Last Call is this: we know that for each one of us there will be a last kiss, a last word, a last breath. We don’t know when, only that there will be one. In the same way, we know that Jesus will return as promised. Again, we don’t know when, only that it will happen. Advent, this season of preparation, is mainly about once again readying ourselves for that Last Call. Culturally, Advent (if it is acknowledged at all) is a time to get ready for Christmas. But Scripture readings are about preparing for Jesus’ return and what God is up to in our world in the meantime.
Because the day and hour of these Last Calls (our last breath etc.; Jesus’ return) are uncertain, we put them out of mind until something makes us pay attention to them once again. Let this Advent serve as a time to once again pay attention. Be ready to meet Jesus, not with fear and trembling but with joy.
And choose one thing in your life–a frayed relationship, a neglected healthy habit, an internal dialogue that keeps you from flourishing–and treat it as if this was your Last Call to work on it.
Pr. Mark Walters