Wis 18:6-9; Heb 11:1-2; 8-12; Lk 12:32-48.

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas are underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots.

Last weekend the challenge from Jesus to us was plain and straightforward: avoid greed and store up the kind of treasure that God values -- not that the world values ÐÐ for one day, indeed, every person will face his or her death.

For some of us it will be unexpected and sudden -- even perhaps at a young age. For others it will be fairly predictable and follow a natural course. Regardless there will be a time in our personal histories when we will ask ourselves the question -- Am I ready? Am I prepared?

This weekend Jesus continues to challenge us within this same theme to remind ourselves that there indeed will be a generation in history that will experience the second coming of Christ. There will be a time in history when a person may have but a moment to ask the question -- Am I ready? Am I prepared?

All that seems unstoppable will stop and decrease infinitely into insignificance: Time, natural death, wars and conflict, the Stock Market, the next days birthdays and anniversaries, any future plan whatsoever.

It is easy to forget the possibility that we may be second-coming-witnessing-generation -- or if we are not, then the fact that this second-coming-witnessing-generation will inevitably some day come into being -- when more than one hundred generations have come and gone since the Ascension of Jesus.

On the other hand, we as Americans are very good at thinking about the future. We prepare for a myriad of WHAT IFS by the various insurance policies we hold: Life, Car, House, Boat, etc. We plan for retirement with various investments and funds. Some people even make all of their funeral arrangements years in advance with a hometown funeral home even though they are in perfect health. We begin to plan for the education of our children even though it may be nearly 2 decades away. We save and save and save for summer vacations or maybe even for the purchase of a vacation cottage or cabin. High school students are beginning to think about colleges earlier and earlier in their High School careers. Special SAT Prep classes are offered now for freshman and sophomores in order to get a head start. College students start accumulating resume data as soon as they enter college anticipating the days when they will be walking into interviews wearing their power colors, firmly shaking hands, and handing over an impressive resume.

We are already good at thinking about the future.

Jesus encourages us to take that skill and to extend it to the reality that He will indeed come again at the end of time. Last week we were told that they may never be a warning sign to our natural deaths.

This week we are told that there may never be a warning sign to the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus may come unexpectedly like a thief in the night.

We are faced with multiple choices to make each day which may seem singularly insignificant; however, they often add up to pointing us in particular directions. Sometimes good directions. Sometimes bad directions. Are our many everyday decisions pointing us in the direction of making us ready? Are they helping us to get prepared not only for the possibility of death; but of the Second Coming?

Similar to last week, we can ask ourselves -- How do we prepare ourselves? How do we get ready? How will we be sure that the Lord recognizes us? What are the right choices to make during our day?

Again, hopefully our side of our conversation with Jesus will sound something like: Lord, when did I see you hungry? When did I see you thirsty? When were you the stranger that I welcomed? When were you the naked person who I clothed? When were you the lonely person that I visited? When did I love you by loving my neighbor? When you see me loving God? Then Jesus will happily flash in front of us the scenes of our lives where we did so to both neighbor and stranger.

Let us take our natural inclinations and skills to plan for the future, and keep our eyes on that which matters the most -- our preparations for heaven.

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