Friday, December 24, 2021

Waiting On Jesus With a Bee-Bee Gun

Suggested Reading: Matthew 24:36-51

Through the years, one of my favorite holiday movies has been Home Alone. Ten year old Kevin McAllister is accidentally left at home by himself at Christmas while his family flies to Paris. He gets to live out every ten year old boy's dream of being the man of the house and holding down the fort all by himself. While home alone, he overhears a criminal plot to burglarize his house and prepares accordingly, preparing booby traps and setting up nasty surprises for the thieves. Kevin is so intent on preparing for the thieves that he saves his microwave macaroni and cheese dinner until it is too late to eat it. As soon as the clock chimes, Kevin sets his fork down, shoulders his brother's bee-bee gun, and braces himself for the encounter with the thieves.

Oddly, the attitude Kevin has toward these thieves is the same attitude we are supposed to have toward the second coming of Jesus. Jesus warned us, "Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:42-44, HCSB). Jesus wants us to maintain an attitude of constant vigilance, watching for him as if he could suddenly appear at any second, maintaining everything in readiness for the moment to arrive, just as Kevin waited in prepared eagerness for the thieves to arrive.

Unfortunately, too often we hold an attitude of apathy and indifference toward the second coming of Christ. As if we have become used to waiting for something we no longer believe will actually occur or, if it does, won't occur any time soon. Jesus's return, for us, is often viewed like our chances of winning the lottery; we believe it can happen today but the chances aren't very likely. As such, we live without any urgency to make certain our affairs are in order, that our lives are swept, tidy, and productive enough to pass the ultimate surprise inspection. But Jesus wanted us to live with that urgency. God refuses to give us the day or hour of his return so that we can't cram at the last minute to get things in order. The uncertainty forces us to constantly be ready for his return.

Do you live with a sense of urgency that Christ could return at any moment? Remembering that Christ can return at any time can serve as motivation to keep our lives in order. Will you choose to be alert with your bee-bee gun at the ready or will the thieves find you unprepared?

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