Posts Tagged ‘Second Coming; Being ready for Christ’s Coming’

Getting Ready for Christ the King

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Christ the King

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17; 1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28; Mt 25: 31-46

Dc. Larry Brockman


“The last enemy to be destroyed is death!”  Did you hear that?  I mean, did you really hear it.  Christ our King has destroyed death- once and for all.  We are going to live forever!  And at the Second Coming of Christ, He will separate us into two groups- the sheep and the goats.  The sheep, his flock, are those who belong to Christ.

I don’t know about you, but as the old song “When The Saints go marching in” says-  “I want to be in that number, when the Saints go marching in!”    How about you?  Do you really believe that Christ has conquered death forever and that you will live forever if you belong to Christ?

I ask that because it just doesn’t seem that people of this world believe it at all.  The people of this world seem to be living as if there is no tomorrow. They are anxious to get all the loose “living” in they can in a short span of time. They have no time for God or his law.  If they really believed that there is a God and heaven, they would surely want to develop a relationship with God.  But most of the people of this world- present company excepted- have much better things to do on Sunday morning than attend Church to worship God.  Sadly, statistics show that less than half of the people in the US attend Church on Sundays.  In Europe, the number is less than 1 in 10.

Ask yourself a very simple question.  If Jesus saw you today and he asked you the questions that He posed rhetorically to the two groups in the Gospel, how would he judge your actions?

You know, it’s interesting that both groups responded to Jesus the same way.  They both said- when did we see you naked or hungry or imprisoned?  Jesus simply says that He was in “the least of my brethren” that we all encounter.  Yes, all of us encounter “the least of my brethren” each day, don’t we?  Here on this Island, you folks have an advantage over the people on the mainland.  You all know each other, and those who you don’t know, you know of.  So perhaps my perspective is different.  You see, every day I come in contact with total strangers who are “the least of my brethren”- on a trip to Walmart; while attending a movie; on the roads while in my car.  In all the little contacts you have in life, like these, you pass your brothers by as you go about your business.  Jesus is telling us that we must always, always, be open and kind to the people around us, not just to our families and friends.  But the thing is, it is so easy to just pass everybody by as we go about our business.  There are things we do not notice, don’t care to notice, and don’t want to notice.

This reminds me of the Gospel story of the rich man and Lazarus in that respect. During a good part of his life, the rich man was simply clueless to the plight of Lazarus while he just kept on enjoying life to the fullest.

Next weekend we begin the season of Advent.  Most of us use Advent to get ready for Christmas, the coming of Christ.  But I’d like to ask you to think of it a little differently.  This year, use Advent to get ready for both comings of Christ.  The first coming, the coming of the Christ Child, is the ultimate gift of God.  Jesus became man, showed us the way, and after his Resurrection, promised those who believe resurrection and eternal life.  For that, we should all rejoice and celebrate.  That’s why we always celebrate Christmas.

But there is the second coming, the one that Jesus speaks of in this Gospel.  Let’s all use Advent this year to get ready for that as well.

There was a famous World-br II era Lutheran minister  Imprisoned by the Nazis named Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  This is what Bonhoeffer once wrote about Advent:  “Life in a prison cell reminds me a great deal of Advent.  One waits and hopes and putters around; but in the end, what we do is of little consequence.  The door is shut and it can only be opened from the outside”.

All of us here will experience the second coming.  The door to Heaven will be shut until it is opened from the outside.  Until then, we are all imprisoned.  We putter around, dabbling in all of what this life has to offer.  But it is only a restricted life, a prison.  Our real goal is life with our heavenly Father.

Every once and a while we need to stop what we are doing, reflect on life, and make some changes.  Advent is a perfect time for that- four weeks each year for us to get ready for the Coming of Christ.  So, take some time this Advent to reflect on those questions Jesus rhetorically asked in the Gospel.  How will you answer if Jesus comes today and opens the door?  Will you be ready?