My thoughts (David Zier):
When I was younger, I would watch “Jack Van Impe Presents.” Have you ever seen that program? I can’t believe it is still on! The program is very predictable. Using the day’s headlines and world events, we are shown how all the events of the day tie into the biblical stories about the end times. And it will happen soon, even tomorrow. This has been on for 40 years or more. I was intrigued when I was younger, but now it all seems like another way that someone raises money. You are told to “be ready, the end is near,” but nothing practical ever results from watching that show.
So as I read today’s scripture, Jesus is the one who is telling us to be prepared. He says to “keep awake” and to “be aware” when the thief in the night comes, but not to try to figure out the day and the time when it will happen. It is about being “prepared.” I don’t read this as a way to keep watch, to keep track, and to follow every whim announced as the “date” or the “end” of times, or the second coming. So what exactly does it mean to be prepared?
I recall a song by Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Are Dying.” We all will die at some point, but this parable is like Jesus’ way of telling us to “Live Like You Are Dying.” What does it mean to be prepared? One way to hear this is to live like it’s your last day, each and every day.
How are we tending our relationship with God? How does God’s grace and love impact our lives? How are we living in God’s love and showing others God’s grace and love? How are we forgiving in the way Jesus taught us? How are we praying in the way Jesus asks us? When it comes to interpreting scripture passages like this one, some will think, “Am I/Are you saved?” Do we really embrace the meaning of being saved? Jesus taught us in his three years of ministry what it means to live like we are saved. Being prepared means we are living the way Jesus taught us. Living the way God wants us to live.
Thought for the Day: Am I living like I am dying; prepared the way Jesus taught, loving the way God loves me?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.