|Theme:||We must be ready for Christ's return. Advent 1, Year C|
|Object:||A smoke alarm|
|Scripture:||"Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:27-28 (NLT)|
Do you have a smoke alarm in your house? I hope so. In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm could save your life and the lives of your loved ones by providing a warning that would give you the chance to escape. Smoke alarms don't cost very much, and they are easy to install. It is one of the best safety devices you can buy and install to protect yourself, your family, and your home.
A word of caution about smoke alarms -- some people think that once they have a smoke alarm installed in their house they are safe from the dangers of fire. They forget that their smoke alarm is only as good as the battery inside. If the battery has lost its power, the smoke alarm will not work and you will not receive the warning needed to allow you time to escape. As a guide, the batteries should be changed at least once a year, but you should check your alarm from time to time to make sure that the batteries are still good.
What if you are fixing breakfast and burn the toast which sets off the smoke alarm? Has that ever happened at your house? Well, it is actually a good thing because it shows that your smoke alarm is working. Some people get so used to hearing the smoke alarm give false alarms that they just ignore it, or even worse, they turn it off so that they won't be bothered by it. Then, when they need it, they are in serious trouble!
If you don't have a smoke alarm in your house, I hope you will get one. If you do have one, I hope that you will make sure that it is ready to protect you when the time comes.
Just as we must make sure our smoke alarm is ready in case of a fire, Jesus tells us that we must be ready for him when he returns. We don't know when that time will be, so we need to make sure that we stay ready. We need to keep our spiritual batteries charged by regular worship, Bible study, and prayer.
Sometimes we hear people saying that Jesus will return on a certain day. That day comes and goes and Jesus does not return. We may hear so many of these false warnings that we begin to think that Jesus will never return. But Jesus said, "Keep alert at all times. Pray that you will be strong. Don't let that day catch you by surprise." Jesus may not come again during my lifetime or yours, but if he does, I want to be ready, don't you?
Father, we thank you for sending your Son to earth to save us from sin. We are also thankful that he has promised to come again. We want to be ready. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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