Summary: Some people are prepaired for Christmas in an automatic sence and others never seem to be ready.
Be prepared, the Boy Scout motto.
When I was a scout, I took that motto seriously. It paid off several times.
The time Doug Pine smacked into a pine tree and cut his eye. (coincidence not really, his life was full of unfortunate coincidences) I was right on the spot with my first aid kit to baggage him up and rode all the way to the emergency room with him.
When the power went out, flashlights at the ready. I had and still have a survival kit with bullion cubes, wire saw, signal mirror, water proof matches…I never found an event that I was called to use any of that stuff.
I am not as good at it now, but I still am able to respond.
I have found Chain saws and generators to be handy.
I have been able to help out my neighbors from a bind or two.
Our secular calendar tells us that we have a lot of stuff to get ready for.
You know it is only a few weeks until someone is going to start asking, Are you ready for Christmas?
I sort of hate that question. I am never ready until Christmas Eve and the only gift I absolutely have to get is for Renee. So, I sort of flinch whenever someone asks the question.
I know some people are really good at getting ready. They start gift shopping when the after Christmas sales start.
They stuff their next year’s treasures into the back of closets in a regular ritual so that next November they can take inventory and finish up their preparations. They usually have gifts for everyone no matter who shows up at the party….
Because they are just so prepared.
Some have a knack for matching gifts to the people on their list. Their preparation pays off and makes everyone feel good.
I have had others in the family that had the right heart but did not try as hard. You probably had an aunt that gave everyone socks or gloves or handkerchiefs.
Like I said, the heart was in the right place, but the desire to be really prepared lacked any connection to quality. Not every 7 year old cares about handkerchiefs.
What I am saying is that preparation can vary in quality.
In a way that is what today scripture is all about, Being prepared.
Today’s scripture comes after Jesus has been challenges by the authorities in the temple that asks him by what authority he is doing things….
He explains to the disciples that the temple and all of Jerusalem will be destroyed and he describes the challenges that the believers will face as punishment comes to the earth. Wars, murder, natural disasters
Governments are prepared to defend their country and people. Police and firemen are prepared to meet emergencies as they happen.
But aren’t there some things you just can’t prepare for?
Things like our scripture describes, There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.
We can’t really do any thing about tides or storms or meteors and thing really big, we can’t really prepare...Can we?
On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
Jesus is describing the events that will lead up to his return. Horrible events that it looks like we could never be ready for. Enemies that drive people into the hills and whole nations will be in anguish and paralyzed as to what to do. Individuals will faint and just be lost in their fear because things will be so bad.
The bad news parts sound familiar, the terrible storms should like events we have had in the past couple of years that killed thousands of people. I know as I have seen natural events and heard about bombings I think what is this world coming too.
Jesus goes on to describe something that will be a bit shocking to people all over the world. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
I don’t know about you but I imagine seeing a Jesus figure riding on a cloud like and an elevator. Coming down in a controlled way. My imagination is probably limited compared to what Jesus actually pictured. The idea is that every where in the world will have the same event and every one will see what ever this is…perhaps on TV or maybe in some other fantastic display of God’s power.
How ever it happens, people will know that something special is happening. The importance of the event or the person is going to be obvious to all of creation.