Be Ready for His Return

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master 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. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

Be ready. Jesus is giving a couple examples of how this readiness takes shape. He reminds his readers that in the day of Noah those who weren’t ready were taken away in the flood. He goes on to say that this is how it will be in the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field and one will be taken and another left, two women will be grinding at the mill and one will be taken and another left. These texts have often become paired with a sort of rapture theology that believes when Jesus comes he will take with him all those who believe and those left will be left to endure a tribulation, but this isn’t so. In the time of Noah, it was those who would endure judgment who were taken away into the flood, and it will be for judgment that those will be taken away when Jesus comes. He will leave those who believe in him to inherit the earth.

1 Thessalonians 5 says that Jesus will come like a thief in the night, and Jesus affirms this here. He associates us as the Master of the house, and if we had known what time a thief was coming to break in and steal, we would have never slept. Instead our anticipation would have made us ready for the intruder. This is what Jesus calls us to. Are you doing the work of the Father? When Jesus comes, will he see his servant doing his work? Are you concerned with heavenly things for heaven’s coming? May we throw off everything that hinders us from completing what God has for us and run the race marked out for us (Heb. 12:1-2).

make a gift

Do you have kids who love to paint or create masterpieces out of Legos? Do you like to sew, bake or work with wood? This is the perfect opportunity to take time together and make a gift for someone else. Even if all of your shopping has been “done” for a while, what a great opportunity to embody the joy of God by creating something with your family or friends.

Think of whom in your life would especially appreciate a homemade gift. If you have kids, use the opportunity to talk to your children about how this process is like God giving us a gift of joy. Make the process more about who the gift is for, rather than overseeing the “quality control” of what you are making together.