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9 The Sundays before Advent

Exploring the text
During the Sundays leading up to Advent the Lectionary draws our attention to the theme of watching and waiting. It is slightly odd that, although on the fourth Sunday before Advent we have the opening verses of Matthew 24, we do not have 24.15 –51. The problem with this is that the second half of Matthew 24 sets the themes for the three parables that follow in chapter 25. Verses 1–14 of chapter 24 focus more on the events that will accompany the end, whereas in 15 –51 we turn our attention to the attitude that must be adopted while waiting for the end. The parables in chapter 25 (the wise and foolish virgins, the talents, and the sheep and the goats) all emphasize overlapping yet slightly different characteristics about the manner in which we wait for the end...

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