Mark 13:32-33 - (Jesus said) "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come."
Most parochial schools in the northern part of our country have a plan which is called upon if a blizzard hits the area. In that plan are things like who makes the decision if school is going to have a late start or is called off altogether; on what radio or TV station an announcement is going to be shared; and how the news is going to be shared among members of the staff. The list is a good thing and it usually works without any flaw or failing. Of course, most of the time the weather man gives days of warnings to make sure the plan is in good working order.
It might surprise you, but the nation of Japan also has a plan.
Sadly, Japan's plan is not about a snow storm. Japan's plan says how people are be notified if a country like North Korea should ever launch a missile attack against the nation.
Under the national warning system, the notifications would go out this way:
1. news of an impending missile strike would first be shared with officials through cell phone, satellite, and internet;
2. news would next be shared with the public through their phones, through the internet, and via emergency radio and television broadcasts.
It's a great plan, but there's a problem.
The problem is this: from the time a missile is launched from Korea until the time it explodes in Japan is around 10 minutes. That's right. Japan would have a total of 10 minutes to inform the entire country to take shelter. And if it didn't detect the missiles at the moment of launch, or if the folks in authority spent some time debating whether the missile launch was real or imagined, that ten minutes would be considerably shortened.
Little wonder that this month alone more than 2.5 million Japanese people have proactively visited the nation's website, which tells them what to do in case of attack.
I admire those folks who want to be ready. Of course, I admire even more all those folks who want to be ready for the return of the Savior.
They're showing some seriously good wisdom. The reality is that the people of Japan have ten minutes to get themselves to safety, but the world will have zero minutes to prepare for the Lord's Day of Judgment. On that day you will be ready, or you will not. On that day you will have acknowledged the Christ as your Lord and Savior, or you will not. On that day you will have been forgiven of your sins, or you will not.
Scripture is clear: Jesus is coming. About that fact there are no ifs, ands, or buts.
Jesus is coming and we need to make sure as many people as possible are prepared for that unknown hour. To tell the world to be prepared is why The Lutheran Hour exists. It's why your church and denomination do mission work. It is why your congregation reaches out into nearby neighborhoods. It is why you share Christ crucified and risen with family and friends.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am a sinner living in a sinful world. May I give thanks for the forgiveness Jesus has won for humanity. Now, while there is still time, may I share His Good News with everyone I can. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written for Newser on April 15, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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