Cautious yet confident. That’s how the weather man predicted the arrival of the winter’s first snow storm. He told it like it would be. Six to ten inches of snow. Take precautions. Get shovels out of storage and snow blowers filled with gas. Be ready for slow travel.
But his forecast wasn’t alarming. He wasn’t uncontrollably anxious.
Cautious yet confident. That’s how Jesus predicts his second coming. He tells it like it will be. He will return from heaven to put an end to the world as we know it on Judgment Day. Believers and unbelievers separated forever in heaven and hell. Take precautions. Get your Bible out of storage. Be ready for final departure.
But I wouldn’t call his forecast alarming. He isn’t uncontrollably anxious.
During Advent we have the arrival of Jesus on our minds and Jesus wants to be sure we consider it—not with anxiety and alarm but caution and confidence.
Jesus, having cautioned us about the events that signal Judgment Day, reassures believers confidently, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28).
No fainting for those forgiven by Jesus! No burying heads in the sand for believers who trust in the promises of Jesus! No anxiety for those who admit that even our best behavior can’t save us but the saving works of Jesus can! When the Son of Man comes … stand up!
Jesus predicts that you will not be cowering in a corner somewhere or embarrassed about your behavior. Jesus tells it like it will be. He tells you to stand tall when you see him coming and greet him confidently.
Look him in the eye. Give him a firm handshake. Keep your chin high. Don’t be afraid. This is your redemption that Jesus won for you. It’s a gift from God and the best thanks you can give him is to take it in faith and enjoy it with confidence.
PRAYER: If I am not alarmed enough about my sins, Jesus, then take away my false security. If I am too anxious about my sins, Jesus, then give me comfort. You know me better than anyone, and can do for me what nobody else can. Save me, Jesus, now and at the Last Day. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Luke 21:25-36. There is plenty of terror on Judgment Day, but only if anyone is unprepared. What do you hear in Jesus’ words that assures you that you are prepared?