Christmas is a wonderful month-long party. Advent is focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus and not on the party and presents. Each week of advent focus on a part of the Christmas story. This week it the prophets. People sent by God to tell Israel of the coming Messiah who would save them all and set things right. Yet for all the prophesies given them the people were not looking for Jesus, and certainly not ready to meet Him. In Matthew 24 and 25 Jesus gives the prophesies about His return. As we focus on the celebration of Jesus’ first coming it is important to consider His second coming.
The ten young women are outside the reception hall waiting for the celebration to begin. The groom is delayed so those who did not bring enough oil to last the night were worried and while they went to find more oil the groom shows up, the door is shut, and they miss the party. Once the groom arrives the door is shut and there are no second chances, only regrets.
As we focus on advent, we should also ask the question are we ready for Jesus? As I reflected on this, I find that I am not ready. If we think about it, Jesus is going to come for each one of us in the next 30 or 40 years, some sooner and some later, but He will come. Matthew 24:38 – 42 tells us things will be going along as normal and one will be taken and another one left. This is not only a picture of the rapture, but it is a picture of life. If the rapture does not happen in our life time, we will still go to meet Jesus. The question is will we be ready?
What will this meeting be like? Will we be frightened? Will we feel guilty? Will we recognize Jesus as a friend or as a judge?
One of the things we dreaded in school was the pop quiz. You never knew when it was coming. But there was one good thing about the pop quiz. If you kept the quiz questions you had a good idea what would be on the real test. Jesus’ first coming is like the pop quiz and He taught us what will be on the real test.
Jesus told us to focus on loving God above all and to love others. Jesus taught us to repent and be forgiven and then to forgive others. Jesus told us to live carefully with respect and obedience to God. These things are the final exam.
Am I ready to meet Jesus today? I am still working on getting those quiz questions right. I have much more to learn about forgiving and being forgiven. I still have not gotten the obedience thing right and I am to sloppy with my thoughts and actions. No, I still have some work to do.
Are you ready? If today is the day you are taken while we are left, are you ready? Use this advent season to not only celebrate the Baby in Bethlehem, but also to prepare yourself to meet Jesus the coming King.
When the groom arrives, the door is shut, and the party starts.