At the end of the school year, Taryn and her fellow year 6 teachers took their students on a special outing to an amusement park in Mandurah. The trip had been planned and booked well in advance. But when they arrived at the entrance to the park, the place seemed all too quiet. It turns out that the park had forgotten about the booking – and weren’t ready for them! They managed to get things running, and people had fun, but it wasn’t good.
It’s not good being caught unprepared – especially if you’ve been warned to be ready.
Jesus once told a story about 10 bridesmaids, who took their lamps and went out to await the arrival of the bridegroom. He was delayed, and they all got tired and fell asleep. But then, at midnight, the news came that he was on his way! They woke up, and got their lamps ready… but half of them realised that they were low on lamp-oil. They had no choice but to go and try and buy some… at midnight! While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, and everyone present went in, and the door was locked behind them. By the time the five arrived back, it was too late. They called to be let in, but the bridegroom refused, telling them that he didn’t know them. “So you, too,” Jesus concluded, “must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matthew 25)
In today’s text, Luke tells us about the work of John the Baptist. John warned people that God was coming, urging them to be ready for His arrival by repenting and turning to God for forgiveness. Should they be found not ready when God arrives, it wouldn’t end well for them. But they could, here and now, change direction and turn to Him for grace.
But that was all a long time ago… Does John’s message still hold any value for us today?
Today’s text: Luke 3:1-20
- What does it look like to be ready for Jesus’ return?
- Was John warning people about Jesus’ first or second coming?
- What hope is there for us?