Matthew 24:36-44 (NRSV)
Verse 36"But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Verse 37For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Verse 38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, Verse 39and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Verse 40Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Verse 41Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Verse 42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Verse 43But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Verse 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
For many of us, life is rather predictable. We get into our daily and weekly routines. Most of the time we know what to expect and when to expect it. We plan for changes to our schedules due to things such as doctor appointments and holidays. We like it that way. If we have to change something in our routine, especially at the last minute, it may throw us off-kilter not only for that day, but for the rest of the week. It is easy to become stressed when our schedules suddenly change.
Today Jesus is calling us to prepare for a surprise. With our predictable lives, this sounds hard to do. But it really isn’t. Just knowing that Jesus is coming is enough. Christ’s return will be joyous. It isn’t meant to stress us out. It gives us hope—hope that one day “swords will be beaten into plowshares” and “all tears will be wiped away.”
Come Lord Jesus to our busy lives so we may be joyfully ready for your coming. Amen.