Recently, I enjoyed reading Gordon MacDonald’s blog at Out of Ur about the recent “Miracle on the Hudson”, the miraculous river landing of the US Airways plane by the veteran pilot. MacDonald remarks, “In the actions of the pilot we see what is possible when a person is trained and disciplined in advance to face the unexpected hour. Lives were saved because a person was prepared.”
This statement made me think about being a watchman at the End of the Age, and how the “everyday-ness” can be quite, well, mundane. Not to mention the questioning looks you get from people when they discover just what you’re doing. But Jesus made it clear, “Watch, therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42 NKJV).
Now, most people use this verse to convince others exactly the opposite of what Jesus meant. Most see this as an up in arms surrender–“Well, see. Jesus said no one could know when He’s coming back, so we shouldn’t even bother” NO! The Lord was encouraging us that since we don’t know exactly when He’s coming, there is a greater emphasis on the need to pay attention–to watch–for His return.
What is our posture in this interim period between advents? A hopefully longing that our Beloved Savior would once again step onto the world stage. It’s the anticipation of two lovers being at last reunited following a prolongued seperation.
Of course, His return involves some intense things, as judgment is poured out upon an unrepentant (read: demonically fueled hatred for all that is good and promoting love) world. But we must come to terms that the Judge is a Lover. We must wrestle with the Scripture that portrays God as loving and vengeful. He cannot–and will not–suspend one attribute to exercise another, simply so that we can prefer one side over another. So that we don’t have to apologize for Him. This is our God, and this is our coming King.
And so, I return to watching. In this season of being in the wilderness, we prepare ourselves for the coming One. We discern the signs of the times, as well as discerning our own heart. And, like the pilot who was prepared to do the right thing at the right time because he had been training in the mundane, we lead people into safety and understanding.