Are We Prepared? ~ The Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI

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Jesus said to his disciples:  “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.   Sell your belongings and give alms.  Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.  Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.  Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.   And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are  those servants.  Be sure of this:  if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.   You also must be prepared, for at an our you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”  And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?  Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.   Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property.but if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.  Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

If we look at today’s Gospel reading, we are being instructed that we need to prepare and to be in readiness for the Lord Jesus’s return.  Despite many preachers having given exact dates for the return of our Lord, which were not correct, the Holy Scriptures tell us that Jesus will return soon.

None of us knows when this blessed event will occur and therefore, we need to be found in readiness.

So when we look at our lives can we say that we are truly prepared should Our Lord Jesus return today?   We need to ask ourselves what should we truly be doing?  What changes should we be making in our daily lives?

If we look at what we are told in Matt 24:3, we are indeed in the “last days” of civilisation as we have come to know and understand it.  Jesus has informed us about the signs to watch for in regard to the last days before his return.  False Prophets, wars, famine, disease, earthquakes and as we are well aware, these things are already well under way. Also under way, is the breakdown of decent society which was described to us by the Apostle Paul in 2 Tim 3:1-5.

People are lovers of themselves, lovers of money and of worldly material things. the boasters, the proud, the blasphemers, the disobedient ,the unthankful, the unholy, the unforgiving, the despisers of good and those who love worldly pleasures instead of lovers of God our Father and Our Lord Jesus.

So what should we be doing to ensure we will be fully prepared and not found wanting when Jesus returns?

We must truly repent and turn away from self-indulgence and worldly lifestyles, we must ask God our Father to help us to sincerely change all and any unholy ways that will hinder our readiness.

We need to more fully rekindle our faith as many of us seem to become only luke-warm in our faith lives.

Many of us have not attended church; Bible reading and prayer seems not to be being learned as it once was.

We need to get the fullness of our relationship with the Father back on track.

We need to listen and understand more what the Lord is telling us in the holy scriptures. We must ensure the teachings of our lord are not just read but are also lived out in all aspects of our lives and only then will we be truly prepared.

We must proclaim the gospel around the world, the good news of the love and salvation our God brings.  We need not only to prepare ourselves but also to give the truth of the lord to all so that they also may get themselves into readiness.

Let us pray:

Father God, I come to you to repent of my sins and confess them before you Please forgive me. I have decided to shun the lures of sin and the love of the world. Help me to recognize deception and to resist every lying spirit sent by the devil to derail my faith in you. Help me to remain true and obedient to your command. I ask for divine wisdom to understand and believe your word and to act on it. I have made up my mind to come and to stay and walk with you.

Amen.

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