Written by: Scotty Smith
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. Luke 12:35-37
King Jesus, through the years we’ve suffered plenty of speculative pontifications about your second coming. Most of them are generated by fear-mongering and Scripture-twisting, political agendas or financial angles. That’s hardly what you had in mind when you charged us to watch and wait for your return. But this morning, as I meditate on this astonishing passage, much of that theological rubbish and rubble is cleared away.
Jesus, I’ve never been less anxious, and more-ready, for your return. Mainly because I'm "dressed for the occasion." Through the gospel, I’m outfitted in the wedding garment of your perfect righteousness. I’m no longer afraid of your return. In fact, I very much want you to come back, so much I wish the guy that set Sept. 23 as your return was right. The oil in my lamp will never run dry--not because I've been busy picking and pressing olives; rather because you’ve sealed me with your Spirit, and have sent the Him to dwell in my heart forever.
Because the gospel is true, I’m ready for service in two ways. The first is rather mind boggling. According to the Scriptures, when you return, you'll have us, your bride, “recline at the table,” and you will come and wait on us. Jesus, this is almost too much goodness to take in. You're coming back to serve us, and make all things new. You're not going to annihilate this globe, but renew it and restore it. As Peter said, in keeping with your promise, we are looking for the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-22:6).
Oh my... all you’ve ever done is serve us, Jesus--in creation and by your incarnation; through your life of perfect obedience and your death of sin-bearing suffering; by your resurrection from the dead and your ascension into heaven; through your heavenly intercession and by your sovereign rule. And it's not going to stop. Hallelujah!
Secondly, the gospel--this gospel, gives us freedom, passion and joy to serve you. Whose feet do we wash today, Lord? Whose burdens do we bear? How might you use us to be a means of your love becoming real and irresistible to others? How can we give our communities a small but real foretaste of life in the new heavens and new earth? Show us, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your great and grace-full name.