Our scripture this week, Matthew 24:36-44 begins Lectionary Year A and prepares us for the celebration of Advent.
36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Jesus has taught often about being ready for His return. We have heard warnings about being prepared and they often go unheeded. He teaches that we will not know the day or time, so there won’t be a chance to get ready when He comes.
Humans by and large tend to let things slide until they have to be done. I have a coffee cup that says “I put the Pro in Procrastination”. (I will tell you something funny/not funny – I am hurriedly typing this to finish before I have to leave for an appointment!) Jesus wants us to change our lives now so we will be ready on that day.
This is the heart of this passage – we all need to be preparing for His coming. The old advice “no time like the present” is never more important than in our preparation for the new day He will bring. Let us all be waiting to say “We’re ready Lord” when He appears.
Gracious God, we are sometimes a slow learning people. Energize us and make us glad to prepare for Christ’s return. Amen.