Being Prepared

JESUS SPEAKING

                “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.  It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes […] 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.  You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12: 35-37, 39-40.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jewish weddings were very long engagements that often lasted many days.  The guests would recline on pillows and feast day and night; often falling asleep right next to the table.  The length of the celebration was uncertain; the guests could leave at one in the morning, or three in the afternoon.  When the master of a household went to a wedding the servants needed to be prepared for his return at any moment.  The servants remained dressed at all hours and their lamps stayed burning through the night.  Jesus used this parable as an illustration of his second coming.  After ascending in to heaven he promised he would return; yet he gave no specific day or hour; he could return today, in one month, or a hundred years from now.  Therefore those who serve him must eagerly await his arrival every minute of every day.  Those who are prepared are careful to maintain good works, to serve others, and to obey the Lord’s teachings and commandments.

                Many years ago, prior to my conversion I practiced a life of sinful disobedience.  Unable to support myself, I lived alone, in an apartment paid for by my Dad.  He would occasionally pop in to make sure the apartment was clean and in proper condition.  One evening, I hosted a drunken party and things got out of hand.  We smashed beer bottles in my living room with a golf club.  I shattered one of my apartment windows; someone even broke my car window with an empty beer bottle.  The toilet clogged and overflowed, and someone had written obscenities all over my wall with shaving cream.  I eventually passed out, thinking I could clean up in the morning before anyone came over.  However, early the next day I was roused from my sleep by the shouts of an angry man.  “Get up,” my dad yelled in my ear.  I sprang from the mattress, in shock.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, and filled with fear.  I had not expected him; I never foresaw that he would witness the carnage of my drunken debauchery.  He stood by and watched as I cleaned the apartment and picked up every single shard of broken glass.

                The Lord is coming at an hour when we least expect him.  We should eagerly await his return and always be ready.  Those who obey the teachings of Jesus Christ are prepared to meet him.  We must be kind to others; we must love others; and we must serve others every moment of every day.  May you never waver; may you always be prepared; and when your savior returns he will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant […] enter in to the joy of the Lord.”

                “Lord Father, may our eyes be wide and may our hearts be filled with the expectation of Your return.  Reveal to us any areas of our lives where we are serving ourselves rather than others; may we be convicted and may we repent; may we always be selfless, kind, and obedient.  May we receive more of Your Holy Spirit, that we may better serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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