The holidays are here; Thanksgiving was last week, and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye. This means a lot of preparation in my life: presents, travel, extra worship services, visitors, parties, traditions and obligations. The list seems endless, and the time is limited. In fact, it reminds me about my life every day: endless lists and limited time.
I am forced to prioritize my time, my preparation to the things that matter most or are the most urgent. Deadlines seem to drive much of my decision making each day of the week. I am not alone. I hear numerous stories of how, in the current economic environment, more production is expected than ever before without much reward or recognition for the increased “efficiency.”
When it comes to our relationship with God, it becomes one of those things we put on the back burner because, after all, there is always next week. Spiritual deadlines are unclear, Jesus says “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” Matthew 24:36. It becomes enough for us to become comfortable with our own circumstances and then set faith aside to deal with any other details later.
What if your holiday guests could come at any time? The doorbell could ring right now and 25 of your closest family members would come in cold, hungry and desperately craving a hot, juicy bird? Would that change how you lived each day? Would it cause you severe anxiety? Jesus reminds us that the fact we don’t know when He will return doesn’t lessen the urgency but instead should heighten our awareness, become our focus, so that when He does return, we will be prepared for Him!
This reality can cause great anxiety, but that isn’t God’s intention; for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13. There is no need for anxiety about our salvation or what will occur when He returns for it is complete in Christ Jesus; for this I am thankful! But there is much urgency because God desires to involve me in bringing hope and salvation to all who are far off, and the deadline could be any moment. So let’s get ready together as we prepare for all this holiday season offers; let’s prepare for the return of Jesus to the earth and all that entails as well.