I’ve got good news and bad news. First, the bad news: my wife had her purse stolen on Thursday.
Now, the good news: it was found and returned to her, with (strangely) only a six-dollar, unsigned cheque missing. I’m not sure either of us was ever so relieved to have $6 taken away from us.
There are many, many people in this world who believe in and abide by the rule of law. There are others – and these are the folks who make the news – who believe that laws do not apply to them, as long as those laws prevent them from accomplishing their ends. Laws are put in place by the government, which (according to Romans 13) is put in place for our good. While there are people who would rather not acknowledge this, the laws forbidding theft in Canada exist because of the commandment which says, “You must not steal” (Exodus 20.15; Deuteronomy 5.19, NLT).
Because there are people who see the law as irrelevant to them, it is important that we be watchful at all times. My wife only took her eye off her purse for a second; it didn’t seem as though there would be any danger. She was loading groceries into her car. But someone was just quick enough to take it, in the blink of an eye.
Jesus told us that he would return about as quickly: “no one knows the day or hour when these things [the coming of the Son of Man, etc.] will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!” (Mark 13.32-33, NLT).
The Scouting movement got it right when it created its motto: “Be Prepared.” We need to be prepared for the return of our Lord, because we don’t know when it will happen. It could be anytime! We’re just called to be ready.
Do you think my wife will be more “prepared” next time she’s carrying her purse in a shopping cart through a grocery store parking lot? Believe it. Nothing prepares us like such a violation. We are grateful that nothing more than six bucks was compromised. It could have been much worse. If we are prepared for the return of Jesus by trusting in him by faith, we will likewise have nothing to fear. Thanks be to God!