When the Son of Man returns … it will be business as usual…. Luke 17:26; 30 (NLT)
When you look back on the Biblical record of the first Advent, it’s shocking that so few were ready for His coming. With the stories of the Shepherds having heard the angel’s proclamation and seeing Jesus in the manger, the wise mens’ visit to Jerusalem that stirred the entire city and Herod’s murderous edict to kill all the male babies two years old and younger, you would think that at least the religious rulers would have been prepared for Christ’s coming!
Fast forward thirty years and John the Baptist becomes a voice shouting in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the LORD’S coming! Luke 3:4 (NLT)
John’s message was so strong that many wondered if he might be the Messiah. (Vs. 15) But, John replied that someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be His slave and untie the straps of His sandals. Luke tells us that John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people. (Vs. 16) How sad that so many were unprepared and missed the day of God’s visitation!
Before Jesus would return to the Father, He spoke of another Advent. He gave specific signs and warnings to look for in anticipation of His return so that His followers would be prepared. In Luke 18:26, He said, “When the Son of Man returns….” That warning held a promise. He said, “when” not “if”! Jesus will return! Just as He came the first time in fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Old Testament, Jesus will come again! How prepared are you?
This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent, called the Sunday of preparation. It reminds us of those who were warned to prepare the way for the Lord before His first coming. Just as God sought to prepare His people for the first Advent, there is another Advent coming. Like the first, Jesus said, it will be business as usual. That phrase convicts me with how easy it is to become so distracted by the everyday routines and demands of life that I miss the anticipation of His coming! How would you live life differently if you knew this were the day Jesus would come again? With all that is happening in our world today, I’m looking with greater anticipation for His return! Before we go to church this weekend, take some time today to prepare your heart for worship. Live in the anticipation that the One who came at Bethlehem will return! We can prepare the way for His coming by sharing the Good News with others. Reach out to a friend and invite them to join you at church this weekend.