“Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Mark 13:35-37, NIV
I am still mortified! When my husband, Richard and I were newlyweds, we lived in a very small apartment; four rooms to be exact. One day, we had a knock on the door and when I opened it, there stood my father-in-law, coming for a quick surprise visit. To tell you that our little abode was a mess would be an understatement. I wanted to close the door and pretend he wasn’t there but, of course, that would have been beyond rude; I had to invite him inside. He never said a scolding word even though he could see our bad habits laying all around: clothes and shoes, dirty dishes everywhere.
Why do I confess this to you today, when it could remain a well-kept secret over fifty years later? For one thing, that one little incident taught me early on to always be prepared for the unexpected; it taught me about integrity, which is trying always to do my best; and it reminds me today, that there are no guarantees for a “do over.” You see that one short visit with someone whose respect I very much wanted had been tarnished and could never be erased. By God’s grace and the love of a great man I always admired until the day he went to heaven, allowed me the room to mature without condemnation.
We are in the month of December and for Christian’s, it is the Advent Season. This means we are in a time of “preparation” to receive the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. In the book of Mark, the passage of Scripture is about another “Advent Season,” as we await the time when Jesus will return to the earth to gather up His people. Friend, you nor I know when that time will be; God only tells us to “be ready!” Are you prepared to answer the door? No…you do not have to clean everything spotless; that is impossible. God knows you and I are works in progress. The question is, will you be happy to see Jesus when you open the door because you are expecting His arrival? He is coming…one day.