Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Return.12

"Blessed are those servants, 
whom the Lord, 
when he comes, 
      and anticipating 
          his arrival
even if he should come in the middle of the night, 
or at dawning of the day.

Truly I say, that he will adorn himself in his banquet clothes, and invite such servants to sit down with him at the table of feasting, rising himself to serve them as honored guests!" 

The greatly anticipated new installment of an old franchise, Star Wars, opened to a record $130 million first day ticket sales! It is projected to gross over $2 billion in sales worldwide by the time it is has run it's theater debut...

Talk about ready and anticipating an arrival!

Although I've never personally camped out in front of a storefront before Black Friday, or a theater anticipating a movie premier, or a ticket office before a concert, I can appreciate that kind of excitement. We do know about being ready and anticipating something for which we have a deep longing, don't we?  Whether a new movie or the birth of a baby, a job promotion, the purchase of a new home or car, it is part of our human experience.

I have, however, experienced the disappointment of underestimating the wonder of an event for which I wasn't earnestly longing; of wishing I'd been more fervent in inviting others to join in that wonder!

Rooted in our human experience are the words Jesus uses to describe the honor bestowed on those who simply live their lives ready and anticipating His return: 
  • Blessed
  • Servants
  • Lord
  • Comes
  • Ready
  • Anticipating
  • Midnight
  • Dawn
  • Adorn
  • Banquet Clothes
  • Invite
  • Table of Feasting
  • Rising to Serve
  • Honored Guests
 And yet, just as all the treasures of universal wisdom are hidden in Him, so also the full, experiential meaning of this event cannot be fully grasped until that moment in time!  The real question is: will we be dressed in the banquet clothes of deep satisfaction, or the discomfort of disappointment that we weren't nearly as passionate in inviting others to join us in the single most wonder-filled event of all time?

May the worldwide anticipation of a two hour movie pale in comparison of our longing for the return of the Eternal King!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Return.11

Prepare your heart
for in the hour that you least expect it, 
the Son of Man will come.

Hear the story of ten bridesmaids, who carried their lamps out to meet the bridegroom to illuminate the path
of his arrival. This group was comprised of five wise, and five foolish women. Those that were foolish remembered their lamps, but not extra fuel; while the wise carried both their lamps and added fuel. The bridegroom's coming was delayed, and they began to grow tired and fall asleep.

Finally, at midnight, there arose a cry: 
"Behold, the bridegroom approaches! 
The time has come to go out to meet him."

Hurriedly, the bridesmaids began preparing their lamps. Then the foolish said to the wise: "Give us some of your fuel; for our lamps have burned out in the night."

"We cannot," the wise replied, "for there is not enough fuel for both your lamps and ours. Go quickly, wake those that sell fuel, and buy extra for yourselves.

But while they were off searching for fuel, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went with him to the marriage celebration, and behind them the door was shut.

Some time later, the foolish bridesmaids returned and began to call out plaintively: 
"Lord, Lord, let us in."

But he answered and said: 
"Truly I say to you, I do not know who you are." --Jesus

In case you missed Him the first aren't alone!

"And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, [the evidence for this is:] you do not believe the one whom he has sent." John 5:37-38

Which is a worse condition: 
  • TO not recognize the Son of God 
  • OR to not be recognized by the Son of God? 
  • TO not be capable of knowing what in the quality of His voice or the grace in his movement reveals the Goodness of God 
  • OR to be denied entrance into that grace-filled company because you were incapable of revealing His Life in you?
  • TO never have entered into the companionship of love, trust and obedience with the Lord of Light and Life
  • OR to be exposed as a pretender?
  • TO never have started the journey, built the tower, confront the enemy
  • OR to be mocked for not finishing? 
  • TO never have had the light in you
  • OR the light in you flickers, falters and fails over time?