On the news last night the reporter was interviewing a couple from France who said they were not expecting a snow storm on their visit to New York. Really? What did they expect? In the middle of January people are surprised that there is cold and snow in the Northeast…in New York? You must be from another planet if you think that (or, I guess, another country). To me, that is kind of like going to the beach and being surprised to find sand, going to Alabama and being shocked to see a Confederate flag or going to a Major League baseball game and being stupefied to see the New York Mets playing (well, actually I will give you that one, even though I am a Met’s fan myself).
Why are we surprised by things? Sometimes it is because we actually just never expect something to happen. It comes out of no where and we are blindsided by it. Other times it’s because we expect something to happen but not to the magnitude or extent that it does. That was the case for many people regarding Hurricane Sandy. And other times it’s simply because we don’t want something to happen or blatantly disregard the signs and realities of a situation.
I wonder how many of us will be surprised when Jesus returns. How many people will say “I never expected anything like this to happen.” And for some people that would be a valid response because they know little to nothing about Jesus, the Bible or the Second Coming. Others will say: “I knew He said He was coming back but I didn’t expect it now!”. And still others will be surprised because they don’t take the second coming of Christ literally. But Jesus speaks very clearly and definitively about His second coming. Although I personally don’t study the second coming of Christ as I once did and get a little confused with the many different interpretations and perspectives, I do take His promise and Scriptures relating to Hist return at face value.
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. (John 14:3)
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44)
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert ! You do not know when that time will come. …. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ (Mark 13:32-33, 37).
So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28).
When I was growing up and attending St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bogota, every Mass we recited the same phrase: “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” It is a beautiful proclamation, I just wonder if we really believe it. Would it surprise you if Jesus came back tonight…or tomorrow…or next year…or 100 years from now….or, even… right now?
What do you think?