Summary: We live in between the first advent (Jesus’ birth) and the second advent (Jesus’ second coming). During this in between time we have the opportunity to make our hearts and lives ready for Jesus’ return.

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Don’t Miss the Bus

2 Peter 3:3-4 & 8-15a

December 27, 2009

When I lived in Kansas City attending seminary, I worked as a school bus driver. Now I’ve got to tell you, if the Discovery channel wanted to do a real Reality Show, the producers should have ridden around on my bus with me. Some of the stuff that went on was made for reality t.v.

For example, my bus route wound through the inner city of Kansas City. Most of the children had designated bus stops at the corner of their street. But every year the bus company would designate a few stops that were at a child’s house. Nevertheless, whether the stop was on a street corner or at the child’s house the child was to be ready at least five minutes before the bus arrived.

Well, I had a stop at the home of one child who, for the life of her was never, and I mean never ready on time. So I’d pull up to the stop, flashers on, blocking the narrow inner city street and I’d wait. When the mother realized I was stopped in front of their house, she’d generally appear in the open doorway in just her underwear, wave and shout, “Here she comes.” No foolin’ in her underwear–that’s all–shouting, “Here she comes.”

So I’d wait. Wait for the little girl to be ready for the bus. And there was always a different reason that I had to wait. Wait for her to get her shoes on. Wait for her to brush her teeth. Wait for her to put her coat on. Wait for her to finish her breakfast. Wait for her mother to get dressed–just kidding–I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

Each day she was later and later being ready. So I realized that by waiting I was only enabling her to not be ready, because she knew I’d wait. So I radioed my dispatcher and explained the situation. He said, “Okay tomorrow, when you make that stop, if the child is not ready when you arrive, wait one minute. If she doesn’t come out during that minute, go onto to your next stop.”

I protested, but what if her mom shouts out the door that’s she’s almost ready? He said, “It doesn’t matter you leave and go to your next stop.” “But she’ll call in.” I said. He said, “We’ll handle it.” “Okay.” Confident now that I had the full support of Ryder Student Transportation Services, I embarked the next morning to what I was sure would be a rather “revealing” encounter.

Of course when I arrived, the little girl wasn’t ready. In customary fashion, the mother appeared at the door in–yup, you guessed it–her underwear exclaiming, “Here she comes.” To which I thought, “yeah right.” I looked at my watch and waited exactly one minute, then closed the door to the bus and proceeded to drive away. As I looked in the sideview mirror I heard and saw the mother–and I’m not making this up–running down the sidewalk, in her underwear, waving her arms and shouting, “Here she comes! Here she comes!” To which I replied, “Here I go!”

Well, can I tell you, from that time forward, that little girl was always ready and waiting at the door when I arrived. And there was one more really good thing that came out of it: I didn’t have to see her mom on her underwear any more! Yay me!

Which got me wondering have you ever missed anything because you weren’t ready? You know missed out on something because you weren’t prepared?

Take for example Christmas. I’m sure none of us missed Christmas but did you feel like you were really prepared for it? Doesn’t Christmas seem to come around more quickly every year?

And even though we KNOW it’s coming (I mean it’s always on the same date every year) we still scramble to get everything done, to make sure we’re ready. I suppose it’s a good thing that we know the exact date of Christmas because if Christmas was just some random day in the future we might well never be ready for it. Hello procrastination.

I must confess, I didn’t feel totally prepared for Christmas this year. For all intents and purposes I was prepared. The Christmas shopping got done. The packages were mailed. The house was decorated. But for some reason, I just wasn’t prepared for Christmas internally.

I don’t know why really. There were lots of things we did as a congregation to help us get ready for it. For example, in each worship service following Thanksgiving, we listened to Advent readings, we lit the Advent candles. Pastor Steve preached excellent, thought-provoking, encouraging Advent sermons . . . (please tell him I said that, staff evaluations are coming up again and well, . . . you know–job security.)

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