October 17, 2013
Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness .... Titus 2:13-14a
People sometimes ask, "What is it going to be like on the last day?"
Recently, I heard a story which can give us some insight into that unknown day and moment. The story begins with Navy Reserve First Class Petty Officer Scott McComas. All told, McComas has been called away from home four different times. Each of those periods of service took him away from home for an entire year. This time, the fifth time, he was asked to serve for six months on Diego Garcia in the central Indian Ocean.
McComas said that while this tour of duty was only half the length of the others, this time the days passed very slowly. I can understand why. McComas' daughter, Bella, is ten years old. That means his little girl is growing up and has reached that level of maturity where she understands her dad has been gone almost half of her life. Not only that, Bella also has a pretty good idea that the absence of this big guy who keeps disappearing is not an especially good thing.
To make a long story short, McComas came home unexpectedly. As he and his wife, Annette, made plans for his return, it occurred that they might want to make his arrival even more specialer. This is what happened: Annette took Bella to the Bluffton, Fort Wayne, Corn Maze. Together mom and daughter wandered through the turns. Eventually, they reached the end of the maze, and there was Scott, aka, Daddy.
"Daddy!" That's what Bella yelled as she ran forward, jumped up, and was caught in her father's arms. You could see in her face she knew everything was right; the family was together, and all was as it should be.
That, I think is the way Jesus' people will feel when He returns.
With a smile on our faces, a shout of gladness on our lips, and a jump into His arms, we will also express our knowledge that everything is great and couldn't be more grand.
How else could it be?
After all, Jesus has been gone -- what has been, at least to us -- a very long time, and we have been on our own for too long. During Jesus' time away we sinners have hardly been perfect, and the world hasn't been very nice.
But on that day when our Savior comes back, the devil's temptations will be at an end. On that day our sinning, our sickness, our hurts, and this world's horrors will be completed. On that day, by the power of Jesus' all-atoning sacrifice, we will be given peace and an eternity with Him in heaven.
Yes, there's little doubt 10-year-old Bella has shown us how we should act when we see Somebody we've missed very much.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I be ready and eager for the day in which my life on this earth is at an end. Take away any doubt or fear of what that day might bring. Instead, please replace those human feelings with a faith that looks forward with gladness to the Savior's return. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries