Expecting His return

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 for many days.  The guests would recline on pillows feasting both day and night; often falling asleep beside the table.  The duration of the celebration was uncertain; the guests could be dismissed at one in the morning, or three in the afternoon.  Therefore, when the master of a household attended a wedding, the servants were required to be prepared for his return at any moment.  They remained dressed at all hours with their lamps burning throughout the night.  Jesus used this parable as an illustration of his second coming.  Before ascending in to heaven he promised to eventually return; yet he gave no specific day or hour; he could return later today, in one month, or a hundred years from now.  Those who serve him must faithfully await his arrival every minute of every day.  Being prepared means maintaining good works, serving others, and obeying the Lord’s teachings and commandments.

                Many years ago, prior to my conversion, I practiced a life of sinful disobedience.  Incapable of supporting myself, I lived alone in an apartment paid for by my Dad.  He would occasionally stop by 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 a friend used shaving cream to scribble an obscenity across my wall. Thinking I could clean up in the morning before anyone came over, I eventually passed out.  However, early the next day I was awakened by the screams of an angry man.  “Get up,” my dad shouted in my ear!  In a state of shock I sprang up from the mattress.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, and filled with fear.  I didn’t expect him to make an unscheduled visit. I never once thought that he would witness the carnage of my drunken debauchery.  He stood beside me watching as I cleaned the entire apartment; picking up every single shard of broken glass.

                Like my dad, the Lord is coming at an hour when we least expect him.  We must therefore eagerly await his return and always be ready.  Those who obey the teachings of Jesus Christ are prepared to meet him.  We must love both God and our neighbors; and faithfully serve our fellows every moment of every day.  May we always be prepared and never waver in our commitment to our creator. In so doing, when our savior returns he will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant […] enter in to the joy of the Lord.”

                “Heavenly Father, may our eyes be wide and may we never stop expecting your return.  Reveal to us any area 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 also receive more of Your Holy Spirit; that we may better serve our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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