What Does Readiness Look Like?

Matthew 24:45-51
45“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
46Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
47Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
48But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’
49and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards,
50the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know
51and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As I’m reading the verses for today my mind immediately went to the story of Christ’s Ascension into heaven. You’re probably thinking, “Well, now we know she’s weird.” This probably isn’t the first association most people make when they read this passage, but let me explain.

Jesus has been telling the Disciples to be ready for His return. He makes is sound urgent and eminent. And since Jesus doesn’t lie they assume it’s going to be right away. That makes me think of the Ascension which happened 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. We find the account in Acts 1:6-11.

6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
10And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
11and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Disciples have witnessed their Lord ascending up into heaven to be reunited with the Father after walking this earth for 33 years. Just imagine the scene. There stands 11 guys (Judas has already killed himself) looking up into heaven, waiting for Jesus to return! That’s what He said He would do. Suddenly some angels appear and ask them why they are just standing there gazing at the clouds. In the Carolyn paraphrase they would say, “Why are you just standing around? Knock it off and get to work!” The time we spend awaiting the Lord’s return is not spent gazing into the heavens but instead it is spent in service and industry. That means taking care of the needs of others. That means speaking the Gospel whenever we are given the opportunity. That means spending the time we have given loving others because God loves them more. That is what readiness looks like.

What do you want Jesus to find you doing when He returns?