Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The weather promises to be grim, again. May or may not rain, but cloudy, a little sun poking through here and there, and unseasonably chilly.
This Saturday, I mean.
I plan to finish some work in the garden, probably mow again, begin working on a couple projects.
And, if things go well, the Lord will return and we won't have any more weather forecasts to worry about.
There's been a lot of hubbub about the Second Coming this weekend. (www.wecanknow.com) There's even a billboard outside North Manchester affirming the fact. There's no name or attribution to it, but it seems to be fairly authoritative.
I like basing my faith on billboards.
I've been asked by a number of people whether or not I think it's going to happen this Saturday. My answer is usually the same: "I'm ready for it either way."
The point of the Second Coming, whether or not it's this weekend or in another thousand years, is not to scare people into a repentance frenzy. The point is to be ready. This readiness means to live for God the way you're supposed to all the time.
It's like working a day or two without the boss around. Are you tempted to nap or take something or have a longer lunch without clocking out? Maybe. Probably. But would you do it? Hopefully not. The boss has confidence in you to leave his business knowing that what needs to be done can be done while he's gone.
There is no doubt that Christ will return. The New Testament affirms this repeatedly and both the Apostles and Nicene Creeds teach it. However, the Lord Himself is very reluctant to say when - He says that "wars and rumors of wars" are only the beginnings of the "birthpangs."
Will He come this Saturday? Could be. Could not be.
If He does, I'll be happy. I've been looking forward to going to Heaven for a long time and I'll be able to avoid a heart attack, cancer, fatal accident, or other tragedy. I'm ready.
If He doesn't, well, I'll be happy, too. I love my life here. I have a wonderful wife and great kids, I love my job and my Church. I have good friends and a great place to live. I have so many blessings, that I'll be glad to live with them for as long as it takes. I'm ready to stay, too.
To repeat: the point is readiness. How do you get ready for something like the Second Coming? It's simply an act of faith.
- St. Peter told the crowds in Acts 2 that they should "Repent, believe, and be baptized."
- St. Paul told the Romans to confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead and they would be 'saved'.
- St. John wrote the inimitable words: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Okay. So it's not that simple. Repentance, believing, confessing, accepting love from God (or anyone else, for that matter). These are difficult things. But they are the kernel of the Christian faith. They are life-long actions that prepare us of Christ's coming, either at death or denouement.
So, this Saturday, I'm ready. And if my current plans for the yard and garden happen to change because of the Second Coming, so much the better.
(Obviously, I hope those who read this are ready, too!)