BY REV. MARTIN LUCIN AND THE GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH LEADERSHIP TEAM
My son is an Eagle Scout. After earning the merit badges, rising through the ranks, participating in various Courts of Honor, and completing his final project, he was awarded Boy Scouts' highest rank not long after he started high school. At pretty much every step of the way, he was reminded of BSA's motto and asked to explain its relevance to whatever he was up to at the time: Be prepared.
Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of God in which some young women who were part of a wedding party were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil while others were not. The latter missed the feast because they were not prepared. Therefore, keep watch, Jesus says, because you do not know the day or the hour!
It's not just a good idea, it is a direct command from the Lord. Keep watch. And be prepared.
Life is full of the unexpected — sometimes, no matter how carefully we've planned ahead, life sneaks up on us and smacks us on the head. When I was a college student I spent a lot of time on airplanes and in airports, flying between where I lived in Southern California and where I went to school in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Many times when I was out with friends or over at a girlfriend's house, I would lose track of time and nearly miss my flight. The lesson was never lost on me: You better be prepared.
Are we prepared for Christ's return, which is what Matthew 25:1-13 is all about — Christ's return to earth at the end of time? We have no idea when that may be, it could be thousands of years away or it could be tonight, but when that day arrives, you will be asked to give an account of your life — and there will be no more secrets. So be prepared.
Are you prepared for both the challenges and the opportunities that life will send you? Are you ready to stand before God and give an account of your life? Live like you have much for which to be thankful and treat others the way you know Jesus would in these next months: "Keep watch, therefore, because you do not know the day or the hour."
It's just the smart thing to do.
After all, be prepared.