Warnings and Preparedness
Natural disasters have dominated the headlines lately – from Harvey to Irma to the fires out West. If you are not directly affected, there is a good chance you know someone who is. The hurricanes, especially Irma, have left me marveling at how well prepared we can be when it comes to natural disasters. Not that long ago, we would have had no clue about the impending danger. But in our lifetime, the state of Florida just performed the largest mass-exodus in US history, and those that couldn’t leave were given ample warning to prepare themselves for the impending storm.
But why was everyone on high alert? Because they were warned by someone who had a better vantage point then those on the ground. Satellite images and projections dominated the news broadcasts. Prominent politicians repeatedly warned their constituents. Local police and fire fighters went door-to-door, warning people of the danger. No one knew the exact hour the hurricane would hit, but those who had seen the satellite images knew that without a doubt, the hurricane was coming.
Even still, some did not heed the warnings. In the hours leading up to Irma’s landfall, I remember watching one live-on-scene news reporter discussing the worsening conditions – and in the background, you could see people out surfing the increasingly angry waves. ‘Foolish’ would be a mild descriptive term for these people.
The concept of ‘preparedness’ also got me thinking about our lives, in general. Jesus promised that He would return for us. However, when He described His impending return to His disciples, it was as much a promise as it also was a warning. Jesus was constantly telling them, ”Be prepared for my return”. Here’s just one example:
Matthew 24:36-39, 42
Now concerning that day and hour no one knows – neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son – except the Father only. As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be…Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.
We’re going to spend some time looking at what Jesus had to say about how He expected His disciples to be alert and ready to see Him again. While we may not know the exact time for Him to return, we can certainly take steps now to be prepared for it. We don’t want to be one of the ones who continue to drift through life as if there is always going to be a ‘tomorrow’ just like every day that has come before it…because at some point, there won’t be.
Jesus is coming back, that much is certain. Our journey through the implications of His return is not meant to scare anyone into ‘proper’ behavior; rather, we will make sure that the promise – and warning – of His return is fully understood. So as we start this journey, I ask for both me and you:
If Christ’s return was today, what would the face to face introduction be like? Are we prepared to meet Him, or would we be ashamed at His coming?