Thieves are an inconsiderate lot. They come to visit you when you’re not home. They destroy things coming in the house. Then they take party favors that you hadn’t planned on giving out. When you get home to see the door kicked in you might think something like, “well, if they had told me they were coming, I might have been able to be there to welcome them.” (And if you think those thieves are bad, wait ‘til you deal with the insurance company – personal experience.) Obviously a ludicrous picture of a serious situation there. Thieves want to catch you unawares. The key to preventing break-ins is to be ready at all times and have the house prepared for those times you are away.
Jesus talked to His disciples about the need to be ready for the Lord at all times. He began by talking about servants being ready for the master to return from a wedding banquet. In our highly ordered, scheduled world, we would have an idea when such a feast might be finished. Back in those days, they not only didn’t have digital watches to time things down to the exact minute, their sundials didn’t work at night. So, servants needed to be ready at any time. None of this locking the door and going to bed for them. They didn’t know when the master would return, so they had to be watchful and ready. Then, Jesus described His return in a most interesting way. “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.” (Luke 12:39)
If you’ve ever returned home to discover that your house had been robbed, you can understand the dismay of seeing a window broken, or a missing door and then going through the house after the police get there. You are grateful that just stuff was stolen, but there is a true feeling of violation. For a long while, every time you leave, you worry about the house. Every time you come home, there is anxiety as you wonder if you’ll see that door kicked in again. It’s almost a cruel comparison to describe the second coming of Jesus in these terms. Jesus does that to shock His listeners into the understanding of the need to be ready for Him at any time. Contrary to certain people, there is no event set up on Facebook for “The Return of Jesus.” There is no Twitter campaign to build publicity so that people will be ready for Jesus. There is, however, an army of Christians whose job it is to warn people that He’s coming again, and that it is possible to be ready for His return.
We get ready ourselves by establishing our relationship with Christ. There is nothing we can do to become good enough to “join the party” when Jesus comes back. All we can do is depend on His mercy and grace. We accept His forgiveness and seek strength from Him to become the people He wants us to be. We help others get ready by sharing His love, mercy, and grace with them. We plead with them to come to the knowledge of God so that they, too, might be ready. There is nothing more terrifying for me than the idea that in the final judgment, people will look at me and ask, “why didn’t you tell me?” And so I implore you now, my friend, join the Family of God by turning to Jesus. Accept the mercy and grace He has for you. Trust Him to work in you to become the person of God that He wants you to be.
Lord God, I don’t know when You will be coming back, just that You are. Help me to be ready. Help me to share Your love with others so that they might also be ready. I pray as those in the early church prayed: Maranatha – come quickly Lord Jesus.