Dressed and ready


You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. — Luke 12:35-48

Of the few historical records I’ve read describing famous military battles, there seems to be a common theme – wait.

One I read most recently recorded the testimony of those who were in the ranks.

They took positions.

They ran drills.

They cleaned weapons.

They watched and waited from sunup to sundown to sunup again.

The mental strain was seemingly the worst part. They never knew when.

They just knew they had to be ready when the command came from above.

In our verses for the day, we find Jesus charging his “troops” to be ready, too.

They were not to be prepared for a military battle.

They were to be prepared for the return of their leader and rescuer.

He was calling them to wait, but more than that.

He called them to wait well.

The waiting Jesus spoke about included being actively attentive, instantly ready to respond and faithfully at work.

Waiting well is never passive, apathetic or irresponsible.

If we consider ourselves Jesus followers today, we are among those Jesus has charged to be dressed and ready.

The facts are clear.

First, he’s coming back.

Second, it could be today.

However, some questions remain.

Will he or will he not find us waiting well?

Those who are ready will be rewarded.

Those who are not will be punished.

I don’t know exactly what that punishment is and, frankly, I’d rather not find out.

So, are we ready?

Are we waiting well?

How do we know?

The will

But Abraham said, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.” — Luke 16:31

I’ve heard the same story repeated in different variations, but at the core it’s the same. I haven’t nor will I ever figure it out.

A perfectly healthy person, intelligent and remarkably resilient in many ways who just can’t put two and two together.

They have the opportunities to enter multiple, well-paying jobs but just walk away only to be financially destitute, believing everyone owes them.

In the parable from today’s reading, Jesus told of a man who had died and was separated from God.

He wanted someone to go back from the dead and tell his family that they need to get right with God. He was sure they would believe then.

The Abraham of Jesus’ story told him that they wouldn’t. They had God’s word and all the warnings in it and none of it mattered.

Neither would a person rising from the dead.

They were determined not to believe.

Why is it when we know full well the right thing to do and yet, we simply walk away from it?

These decisions reveal that there is far more in play than simply information.

Why is it when the opportunity arises for a truly good change to be made in our lives, we remain in our familiar ruts?

These decisions reveal that open doors alone do not equate to a breakthrough.

Truth is, we all have a will problem.

Wonderfully, when we surrender our will to God, our lives expand exponentially.

Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.

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