* Ancient icon of the Second Coming.
Jesus said, 'Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
This little parable in Luke's Gospel has two meanings. On one level Jesus is talking to his disciples about the time that he will return to judge the world - to his Second Coming. They are to be ready and prepared for his return. Just as good servants stay up to welcome their master back, and just as they need to constantly trim the wicks on their lamps if they are to stay alight, so the disciples must be waiting and prepared for Jesus' return. However, the disciples simply don't understand him, after all he hasn't left them yet. After his death and resurrection though, these new Christians will suffer persecution and will long for his expected return.
The Second Coming of Jesus has still not happened, so we too need to be prepared for this. However, this parable has yet another meaning. It also refers to the time when God will call us home at the end of our life. It's not a subject we like to think about, but it's the only certain thing - we are born and eventually we die! Like the good servants we should be prepared. It's no good thinking "I don't need to think about God until I'm older!"
We may feel we have more to do in this life, and we're not ready for the next stage, but it would be good to be able to meet our Saviour feeling that as Christians we have lived a good life and are ready, waiting for His loving judgement whenever this happens.
Lord Jesus Christ,
may we not get bogged down
in the day to day things of life,
but remember to be prepared
for Your return.
May we be able to give a fair account
of ourselves as good stewards
and faithful Christians
when this time comes.
If you would like to read further about the Second Coming of Jesus, it would be worth looking at this article produced by the Catholic Church: