“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:11-14 ESV)
Thirty years ago when I was planning my wedding, I drove my family crazy. My mother and sister kept wanting to talk about colors and wedding favors—what ideas did I have? None, really, besides a mild preference for peach. I didn’t care much about what we ate, or what the cake looked like. My sister had that look on her face—”She’s mooning about her fiancé again!”
But there were some preparations I took extremely seriously. Getting the marriage license—oh, yes. I wasn’t going to have that go wrong. Making sure our honeymoon reservations were lined up. Asking our professor to do the wedding, since our home pastor had taken a call. Making sure we had an apartment to live in as newlyweds.
In today’s passage, Paul is encouraging us to get ready for the day of salvation—the day when Jesus returns and all evil is gone. That will be a celebration better than any wedding—the day we see our Savior face to face. It will be a day of absolute happiness and joy for us. And so we want to be ready! How dreadful it would be to get there and not be ready—to be still living like people who never knew Jesus, to face the embarrassment of being caught in our old dirty clothes instead of wedding clothes. Nobody wants that.
So Paul urges us to look to the future—the date is coming; it is almost here! What a joy to get ready for the One who loves us so much He suffered and died to make us His own—yes, and rose from the dead so that we could be with Him forever. For a God like that, I am wearing the best clothes. I am tidying up and getting ready. And if I dream about anything, it will be about Him, and not the old works of darkness. Preparing for His coming is part of the joy—a foretaste of the celebration.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to see how I can get ready for You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on November 23, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Think of a joyful occasion or situation you had to prepare for. Was the preparation a pleasure or a pain—or both?
2. What went wrong? What went surprisingly right? If you have a funny story, tell it.
3. How do you prepare for Jesus’ coming?