The following excerpts come from today?s reading in Anticipating His Arrival: A Family Guide through Advent?and 300 Christmas Quotations and Prayers (both 50% off during Advent).
Friday: Luke 21:25?36 (Part 2)
The Arrival of the Son of Man
?And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity from the noise of the sea and its surging, people fainting from fear and expectation of what is coming on the inhabited earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man arriving in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!?
The Parable of the Fig Tree
And he told them a parable: ?Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they put out foliage, now you see for yourselves and know that by this time the summer is near. So also you, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you that this generation will never pass away until all things take place! Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
?But take care for yourselves, lest your hearts are weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of daily life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who reside on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.?
1. What is the main metaphor in the parable of the Fig Tree?
Response: When fig trees bloom, you know summer is near.
2. What is the lesson we need to learn from this metaphor?
Response: In the same way that blooming fig trees herald the onset of summer, God will make clear when his kingdom is near.
3. How does this relate to our Advent preparation?
Response: This passage (Luke 21:29?33) follows our previous reading (vv. 25?28) and offers support for the lesson learned there?that God will make Christ?s return clear to us. The lesson is the same, as v. 31 reminds us: ?When you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.?