Final Preparations For Christ’s Second Coming
Final Preparations For His Coming
† IHS †
As You Realize the Depth of the Grace and Peace of God our Father, and Jesus our Lord, May Your Cry for Him to Save Us Become More Confident and Filled With Wonder and Expectation!
They’ll Be Here Any Second!
You look at your watch, or maybe the clock on the microwave, and as your heart begins to beat faster, you wonder where the last forty-five minutes went!
The company will be here any moment, and you so aren’t ready.
The appetizers are perfect, but you haven’t changed from your bathrobe and pajamas, for that matter, you realized you haven’t showered yet!
The rest of the house, you know, the parts that you asked for help in getting cleaned up, well they are worse than when you asked for help1
The extra chairs are still in the garage, the laundry basket is empty, all over floor.
And as you leave the kitchen to get looking half presentable, you notice you forgot to turn on the oven, and the turkey is still thawing in the sink!
IS this the ultimate nightmare, or worse… reality?
Many people get stressed when company is coming over…. They want things to be perfect for their guests. Perhaps some of us aren’t that noble. We know life isn’t perfect, but we like it when others think that our lives are!
If we are so concerned about company coming over and finding lives, what concern do we have about Jesus coming back, and finding us ready?
As we spend these weeks prior to Christmas thinking about Jesus’ incarnation and His second coming, we are going to look Advent prayers and preparations. Wednesday Nights we’ll study the prayers in the Bible for Jesus to return, and on Sunday’s we’ll look at how to be prepared, how to be ready.
So let’s begin looking at the final preparations for Advent, or is it Easter!
Easter or Advent?
It may seem a little odd to begin Advent with a reading from Palm Sunday and the Triumphal Entry. The beginning of the week leading to Good Friday and Easter. There is a reason. When the shepherds looked down on Jesus in the manger, they had no clue what it would take to be the Savior. A year or so later, as the wise men presented Jesus gifts, they didn’t know either.
The disciples have walked with Him for years. They’ve heard him teach about the Father’s love because of firsthand experience. They’ve seen Jesus heal lepers, give sight to the blind, feed thousands with a few sardines and small roles of bread. They’ve seen Him raise people from the dead.
The Messiah is about to establish His reign over everything, and it is for this reason that He came. To answer the prayer the people cried out Praise the Lord, as they cried out Hosanna! (which means save us!) Everything’s ready for that which had been a mystery from the beginning is about to occur….
It’s almost ready… just a few final preparations.
Are We Willing to Go Get the Donkey…
There is always one task that everyone hates, that has to be done when company’s coming over. Maybe it’s taking out the trash, maybe it’s cleaning the toilet bowl.
I can’t imagine taking the walk to town to pick up a young unbroken donkey, and dragging it back to Bethany was the greatest of jobs. But someone had to do it, and these two disciples had to go deal with the donkey.
Some of us may be sent on similar missions still to deal with stubborn donkeys and bring them to Jesus. Some of us are as stubborn and that unbroken donkey.
But are we willing to listen to God’s direction that clearly? Are we willing to go and take on a task that isn’t glamorous, and may be more than a bit difficult? These two disciples played a role in fulfilling prophecy, but I am not sure they knew that. I can imagine one of them wondering if they could find this donkey, the other wondering if no one asked them, would they be charged with Grand Theft Donkey?
Our lives are often like their task that day. We aren’t sure why God wants us to work with donkeys, or why He doesn’t just wipe out those we think are enemies. Why this action is good, but why doing that is a sin, and doing that is labelled an abomination. We don’t have the answers, and our answer is the same as those disciples, simply telling people what we are told, by God.
But will we accept that His answer is good enough?
What advent is about is to prepare to welcome the King, to welcome the Messiah who comes in the name of the Lord God Almighty! Are we ready for that day? Have we done that which He asks, in preparation for that day when He comes, and everyone praises Him?
We are called into this relationship, into this family of God. Are we waiting for His return! Will we be found ready? Or will we be still trying to figure out why we have to work with donkeys?
A Word of Hope!
The anxiety of company arriving at any moment can be matched, when we consider our own work, as we strive to become ready for the second coming of Christ. Paul addresses that in his letter to the church in Corinth,
4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!
That is the key to Advent, the key to being prepared for Christ’s return. He isn’t coming to check out that all the trash cans so clean you could eat out of them, or that the toilet is that clean, or even that the feast is perfectly prepared. He’s coming to see if we are ready to enter the Father’s presence, following behind him like the crowds did on Palm Sunday.
How we are prepared? We know what God has done, and is doing. We know about the cross, about Jesus dying that we could be free from all blame. That what scripture promises about Christ is true here, in this place. It is true for all that believe and are baptized! We are prepared when we have trust in God’s work in this place. When we know and use the gifts God has given to us, given to us because we belong to Jesus Christ. When we know that Jesus will keep us strong, and free from all blame. Because He is faithful we trust in Him, and we look forward to what is promised.
I love verse 8 – we have to hear it again,
He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!
There is our hope, and there is the hope of the world, that in Christ, people are free from all blame and will be when He returns. For God has promises this welcomed you into a community led by Jesus! This is how we prepare for Advent. We realize our need for Him, our desperate need, and trust that He will meet it!
May our trust in God be seen, as we work with Him, even as His return draws closer!
Posted on November 30, 2014, in Devotions and tagged Advent, ass, Concordia Lutheran Church, donkey, End Times, Eschatology, Incarnation, jackasses, mission, Obedience, Second Coming. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.