I was watching CNN’s Headline News this morning when a segment aired about a group that purchased billboards in several cities proclaiming that the Second Coming of Christ is near — in fact, he will come on May 21, 2011.
I rolled my eyes.
Here was another fringe group getting media attention for making sensational claims. No one really knows when Jesus will come again. The Bible is clear: “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36).
But, as I thought more about the story, I began to reflect more deeply on this Advent season. It is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. But it is also a time to prepare for when Christ will come again.
That first aspect of Advent is something in the forefront of our minds in spite of our secular culture’s preoccupation with pre-Christmas consumerism.
But how many of us really contemplate the second aspect? Do we really prepare ourselves for Christ coming again? If we did, would we think and live any differently?
The obvious answer is yes.
If we truly believed Christ were coming next May 21, or next month or tomorrow, we would immediately reassess what is important and what isn’t. We would focus ever more diligently on our relationship with God and his church. We would give more attention to our relationships with family and friends. We would live the Beatitudes more faithfully.
Advent is a good time to reflect on this. To reassess and reorder our lives. To prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas and for that time when we will meet him face to face.
No one knows when Christ will come again. But, to paraphrase Jesus, we would be wise to stay awake and live every day as the faithful servants we should be.
— Joe Towalski