Good and Bad Times During The Holidays
Opening Question: How many of you had a good Thanksgiving? How many of you went over to someone's house? Where did you go? What happened?
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
Bobbie always looked forward to Thanksgiving at her grandparents' house. Bobbie's grandparents lived out in the country where they had lots of land to explore. There was a horse barn and a cave and a pond with ducks. There was a creek with tall trees to climb. At Bobbie's grandparents' house, there was room to be free. And Bobbie's parents didn't mind her running around.
At her grandparents' house, there was always plenty to eat, especially on Thanksgiving. If she wasn't full from the meal, there was always the pies and ice cream! And when the meal was over, the adults did the dishes. Bobbie and her cousins could go out and play.
But, what Bobbie liked most about going over to her grandparents' was the peace. Nobody fought. Everyone had a good time. If someone was sad, grandma and grandpa made it their business to cheer them up. In no time, Bobbie could hear laughter and people sharing a good time.
At her religious education class, Bobbie was asked to describe heaven. She said, "Heaven is my grandparents house. At my grandparent' house, there is always peace and happiness, good food and good times, a place to run around and be free. Even God would like to live at my grandparents' house."
Is your house like Bobbie's grandparent's house? Is your house full of happiness, good times, and peace? Would God like to live at your house?
Bridging question: What was the worst news you've heard in the past week? Why was it so bad?
Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44
Jesus said to his followers:
When the Son of Man comes, things will happen just like in the time of Noah. Before the Great Flood, people got married and partied right up to the time Noah entered the Ark. They didn't know what would happen until it was too late. The flood came and they drown. The same thing will happen when the Son of Man comes.
Two men will be working in the fields. One will be taken away. The other will be left behind. Two women will be grinding grain at a hand mill. One will be taken away. The other will be left behind. So, be ready! You don't know when your Lord will come!
Know this! If a homeowner knew when the thief came, he would stay up and protect his home. Be like the homeowner. Be prepared! You don't know when the Son of Man comes!
"Christmas is coming!" the sign proclaimed. For some people that's great news, but not for Jeremy. Christmas season meant running around from store to store with his mom trying on clothes that Jeremy would receive on Christmas morning. It also meant that Jeremy would have to go and buy presents for his family. He never got what he wanted on Christmas anyway. While everyone else loved the Christmas season, Jeremy could care less.
The mall was really crowded the day after Thanksgiving. Early that morning, Jeremy, half asleep, was right there with his mom trying on clothes. As he was going into the next store, Jeremy stumbled into a display. Boom! The display came crashing down around Jeremy, scaring him half to death! Stressed and surprised, Jeremy began to steam. "Why did my mother take me to buy my Christmas present?" Jeremy thought.
Jeremy's mom wasn't happy either. "Wake up!" she yelled. "And watch where you are going!" During that morning, Jeremy ran into this person and that. They seemed to be as unhappy as he was. Some made rude comments. Others whispered under their breathe like Jeremy. One or two people yelled at Jeremy. Everyone seemed to have the same attitude as the young boy. "This was going to be another "great' Christmas", Jeremy thought to himself.
"Wake up! Watch out!" We've had many bad surprises over the past few months. Wars, plane crashes, floods, killer storms. Be prepared for the bad surprises. But how? Jesus wants us to pray and to think of others, not just ourselves. This way, when the good surprises come we can enjoy them.
Closing Question: How can prayer and concern for others help us with bad surprises?