It has been almost two months since we have been locked down due to COVID-19. It has been an amazing experience, unlike any that I have ever had to be sure!
Who would have thought that, as we celebrated 2020 on New Year’s Eve, we would have a complete shutdown of life as we knew it. The economy has tumbled. Healthcare workers have become heros of our world, and rightfully so! Families have had “drive by parties” or perhaps “Zoom parties” to celebrate birthdays. Graduates have been unable to go to prom and have even lost the opportunity to have their families at their graduation ceremony, if they are fortunate enough to have a real commencement ceremony at all. Businesses and shopping malls are dead zones and Federal Express and UPS are now the people who fulfill our shopping needs by home delivery after we have ordered out goods online.
Anticipation – Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines anticipation as “a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action; the act of looking forward.” One of the best pictures I have of anticipation is this one, of my young grandchild as he waited for us to present him with a present.
It is that feeling of being sooo ready for something to happen that we can hardly stand it. The lock-down was good to keep us healthy and to prevent our contracting COVID-19, but it was confining; it stopped our activities; it caused financial hardship that will take a long time to repair. Anticipation — is it time yet? Can we open the doors and go to a restaurant? Can we greet our neighbor without a facemask? Can we …
This feeling of anticipation is running rampant throughout our society. We can taste it — it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. It won’t get here soon enough!
Beloved, the end of COVID-19 is not the only thing we should be anticipating!
In John 14:3, Jesus told His disciples that He would be leaving them, but that He would also be returning, to take those who believed in Him to heaven.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Jesus also said that He would be returning in power and great glory.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
In Acts 1:6-11 we read of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. After he had disappeared from the disciples’ sight, we read this starting in verse 10:
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and 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.”
We don’t know when this will happen, but Jesus’ return is as certain as the rising of the sun in the morning. Jesus’ first coming was as a baby in humble, dare we say poor, surroundings. The Creator laid aside His power and came in humiliation to this world. The second time Jesus comes to this place, it will not be so.
In Luke 17:24 Jesus said:
For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.
As Christians we are to be waiting for Jesus’ return. We are to be in great anticipation of this event. Paul said:
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 [NLT]
Beloved, be excited about our society returning to normal when the lock-down is over. But, much more importantly, always be in anticipation of the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Be ready for His return. It is a sure and certain thing, and it could happen even before our lock- down is released.
Father, I praise Your Name for the majesty of Your creation, for the unfathomable love that has been extended to us through Jesus’ death in atonement for our sins, for the inexpressible gift of eternal life with You through belief in Jesus as the Christ. Keep us in anticipation of that glorious day when Jesus will return to take His people to heaven.
Jesus, come quickly!