The end of the church year is quickly approaching, and as it often seems to happen up here in Canada, the snow has begun falling. I have always enjoyed how the two things seem to go hand in hand.
We here in Collingwood just had our first big snow squall of the year. I was out shoveling my driveway three times yesterday, and will be again today. The white stuff is piled up everywhere. And even though the warning signs were all there, it seems that people were unprepared for it again. Cars in the ditches, accidents on the streets, much needed hats and mittens still hidden away in the back of a closet somewhere, when they were needed now!
Even I was guilty. I was caught with my own back yard still full of the kids toys, and some not-quite finished yard work. Not that you can tell, it all being buried under a couple of feet of freshly fallen snow. I will just have to wait until spring before I will find it all again. (Sadly, I know that it will happily wait until then – no one gets off that easy) But what does this all have to do with the Lord’s Return?
Ever since just after Reformation Sunday our readings have been bringing us into a clearer view of the great Day of the Lord to come. It is a day for which we need to be prepared … not in the sense of steeling ourselves up for some great train wreck we see coming but can do nothing to stop. Not in giving in to a sense of futility, or by abandoning hope. The world might be tempted to view the end, Judgment Day in such negative terms, but that certainly doesn’t make them ready … anymore than complaining about the snow makes your yard cleaned up and ready to go when it starts to come down.
Christ calls us to be prepared by living our faith NOW. By being in a relationship with Him now. Cleaning up our back yard, so to speak, by living a life of repentance and forgiveness. Being fed and nourished by the Word, in study, in song, in prayer and in preaching. Being cleansed in the waters of Holy Baptism, set aside for that coming spring in the protection of the Church. Putting on the Robe of Righteousness that covers our sin, and protects us from the harsh assaults of the world. Being sustained through the long winter months of life in this world through the very Body and Blood of Jesus given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins.
Once again, God’s gracious Word of warning, His call to repentance, has gone forth. We do not know when that day will come, but it is coming. You can smell it in the air. Once again, He has reminded me through the sore muscles of the first snow fall, and the buried bags of fall leaves, that maybe I’m not as ready as I ought to be. But by His grace I can be ready, not only for the storm that is coming, but for the spring that will follow!