John 14:28 – I am going away and I am coming back to you. (NIV)
When I was a teenager, there was a story going around our youth group about a new pastor who was about to preach his first sermon. Apparently all the people in the little village were curious about the new pastor's abilities, and, on the first Sunday, the church was so full that two elderly ladies who came a bit late were ushered to the front pew.
The young pastor had spent many hours in preparation for this moment, and he was confident the people would like his topic. However, when he stood to face the congregation, he began to sweat, his head began to spin, and his stomach was doing callisthenics. "Repeat your text," the words of his former theology professor rang in his ears, so he repeated his text, not once, not twice, but three times. It was Revelation 22:12 – "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (NIV)
Suddenly the church was filled with commotion. The railing in front of the pulpit gave way and the young pastor landed in the lap of the two elderly women in the front pew.
One lady whispered to her friend, "Well, you can't say he didn't give us lots of warning."
"You're right," her friend replied. "Three times!"
Although I'm not sure if the story is true, the lesson we can learn from it is true, for, in Scripture, Jesus told his disciples that He will come again. We are to remember His words, so that when He does return, we will not be caught unprepared or off guard.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your promise to come again and receive us unto yourself. Help us to remain watchful and prepared for Your coming. Amen.