42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” – Matthew 24:42
How are you getting ready for Christmas this year? There are all kinds of tasks that are waiting like: Decorations to get out of storage; lights to untangle; cards to purchase and/or Christmas Letters to write, sign, and send; furniture that needs to be moved to make room for the tree; oh, the tree – pick one out and purchase, or, dig through the attic to find the fake tree, and then dust it off, fluff it up and decorate it….. The list can on, and on. I didn’t even get to the fellowship activities and the baking and the gift buying and wrapping…
The point of this article, however, is not to help you with your Christmas to do list, but instead, to invite you to make sure you block out time to remember the real preparatory work that Christ calls us too! Jesus let’s us know that we need to be ready – on alert, and actively waiting for Him. Yes, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of the little infant Jesus, but our real focus needs to be on the anticipation of the Triumphant King’s return. Remember, Jesus doesn’t tell us to celebrate His birth, but instead, to be preparing for His return. The Advent season, this time before Christmas, is truly about preparing for the arrival of the King!
Recently, after running a couple of miles, I was reflecting how our culture has changed from being one that values hard work and physical effort to one whose goal is leisure. Jesus, as He talks to the Disciples about what life will be like after He leaves them, makes it clear that we are to be found laboring for the King – working at building up His Kingdom ways, through our daily actions. He tells us in Matthew 24:46, “46 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.” What is the slave found doing? He’s doing what the Master asked him to do before He left.
We’ve spent all summer and fall looking at Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. We have spent all of 2014 seeking to Walk With Jesus. My hope is that this has meant you have grown in your desire to be obedient to the Word. The Groom is going to return some day – He may come in the clouds, with a loud shout – or, you may be called home before that, but either way, we will meet Him in the relatively near future. When you do, will you be found doing what He has asked you to do?
This might raise the question for some – what does He want me to be doing? I believe there are some basic, universal things, that we are all to be found “doing” every day! Reading God’s Word, praying, seeking Him, listening to Him, obeying what we learn in the Word, fellowshipping with other Christians, telling others about Jesus, making disciples (of ourselves and others), worshiping Him individually and corporately, and taking care of the “least of these”. (Please, note, this is a short list – there are many other things.) I also believe, however, that as we grow in these disciplines, we will learn to hear God’s specific invitation to do what He is calling us to do for Him. When you see a specific need right before you, this is God’s invitation to you to meet it – to step out in faith and to do something for Him!
What will you be found doing this advent and Christmas season? My hope is that we can all be found doing the will of the Father – in all our actions, words, and relationships! Then, when He comes, we will found ready for the wonderful King!
Walking with Jesus,