Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him…..You also must be ready. – Luke 12: 35, 36 & 40
The chatter prior to Sunday school filled the sanctuary. The women were hugging one another, smiling and sharing their joy to visit, while many of the men moved among the pews shaking hands, welcoming each person. The sun peeked through the stain glass casting a yellow hue that seemed to warm the hearts of all those present. One of the kids opened a piece of grape gum and the scent floated through the air causing my jaws to sting thinking of the sourness. This was nice.
I stood at the pulpit, peering over my glasses, content in the fellowship of the congregation and I wondered should I follow through with my plan. There was such peace and happiness among the members, I hated to scare them. I reached for a hymnal and lifting well above my shoulder I slammed it with a great force against the wooden top.
“Are you ready?” I shouted. “Are you prepared?” A gasp fell over the room as the people were startled. One lady in the rear of the church returned a frightened reply.
“We’re ready. Honest! We’re ready!” Laughter rolled through the crowd as people tried to decide if I was serious.
Shouting again I said, “I asked you, Maria! Are you ready? They’re bombing the city. I sent word and told you to be ready we may have to flee. Are you ready?”
Maria hung her head. “I am not, father.”
A hush fell across the congregation, puzzled and perplexed many furrowed their brow, some shook their heads. Stepping away from the pulpit, I asked in a gentle tone. “Are you ready? For when the Father comes there is no time to prepare. Are you ready now?”
We take so much for granted. Hundreds of times I have asked you to rise before the sun and wait for the sunrise. I wanted you to see its beauty. So much is missed by not being ready to watch. And what about the defense of your faith? Are you ready? Are you prepared to offer the evidence?
When you knock at the door of the wedding, will you be invited in because you were prepared and arrived early or will you be late and the door be locked? In a world where we are offered many freedoms, much wealth and great prosperity, we often forget the one who stands at the door knocking. The one who wants into your heart—the giver and maker of all things waits patiently for you to invite Him in.
If you have not once risen before the sun and waited to see the day break then why would you have prepared for the coming of Christ? Setting the alarm is simple, but readying yourself for the Father takes effort and perseverance. Are you ready? Are you prepared or will you wonder what you have missed?