(Jesus said) "Therefore stay awake -- for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning -- lest he come suddenly and find you asleep." Mark 13:35-36
One of the questions which I'm regularly asked is "Pastor, with so many terrible things going on in the world, don't you think the end is just around the corner?" It's a good question. Unfortunately, without prophetic abilities, I don't know when that end is coming.
According to some, 2012 is supposed to be the year the world ends. Of course, according to some, 2011, 2010, 2009, every year is supposed to be the year the world ends. All of this leads me to conclude a year will come when somebody is going to get it right.
Unlike people who want to know when the end is coming, Scripture prefers to zero in on what we will be doing when Jesus arrives. Scripture wants your actions to show you're ready for Jesus' return. One historical fellow who pretty much got it right was a colonel from Connecticut by the name of Davenport.
The year was 1789; the place was Hartford and the legislature of that fine state, was in session.
Then, without warning the sky blackened. The room grew unnaturally and increasingly dark. Glancing out the windows, some members of the House of Representatives concluded the Day of Judgment had come upon them. With fears increasing, a motion was made for immediate adjournment.
Just before the vote on that motion was to be taken, Colonel Davenport took the floor.
This is what he said: "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to have the Lord find me doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."
He sounds like a sensible man.
He also sounds like a man who understood the Savior. In our text for today the Lord Jesus told His followers to stay awake, to be prepared for that unknown hour -- that wonderfully blessed hour -- when He would return.
The day is going to be blessed, because the Savior who gave His life to wash us from our sins and free us from evil's stranglehold is coming back to escort us to a family reunion.
All of us have seen video clips of soldiers coming home from a tour of duty overseas. We have watched the glad and grateful tears of spouses, the eager enthusiasm of children. That's kind of the way it will be the day Jesus returns.
Only that day will be much, much better than any earthly reunion.
This is why we want to be ready.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have washed me of my sins and adopted me into the family of faith. I don't know when the world's end or my end may come. I do know that because of Jesus it will be the start of a grand reunion; it will be a reunion worth watching for. In Jesus' Name I give thanks.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries