A theologian named Harold Camping was setting dates and making all sorts of noise about the second coming of Jesus. It would on May 21, 2011, he announced. Those who listen to Jesus rather than Harold went on with life as usual that day, not because they do not believe Jesus is coming back, but because they do not believe Harold knows when; “See that no one leads you astray, concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:4, 36).
Followers of Jesus do not expect Jesus to return on a certain day, they expect him any day and that makes anticipation a part of every day, which makes a difference in life as usual. Life as usual, then, for those always prepared for the second coming of the King of kings includes giving food to the hungry, drinks to the thirsty, welcoming strangers and clothing naked people, and visiting the sick and those in prison.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” ~Matthew 25:35-36
This is the true surprise about the return of Jesus, not that he is coming back or when he is coming back, but that he has been here the whole time.
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” ~Matthew 25:37-40
More important than anticipating Jesus could return at any time is knowing Jesus is already here all the time.
Heavenly Father, You came to save the world, and You told the world You will return. God, may all find Your salvation, so that all will be prepared when You come back. Even though I don’t know the day, may I live everyday anticipating your coming, that great day of the Lord.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.