LEAven Blog


Be Ready

Ready fills the air. It floats into every nook and cranny, staying for a while in some contexts and dying of disuse, misuse, or abuse in others. What are you ready for?

Certainly you have plans, plans for fire, weather, disease, dangerous individuals, and who knows what will be next? Rabid cows on the playground? Stink beetle infestations? Parking lot insurrections? Mass nausea in the classroom? Gender dysphoria? How about any new dangers that you haven’t imagined? Maybe imagination could become an enemy too.

Are you ready for any good things? What if some ragged old man carrying a sack joined the recess games—and, no—this isn’t a storyline for a Hallmark movie—he wasn’t Santa Claus. And as you were executing all your readiness protocols for such events, he approached you with a twinkle in his eye, handed you the sack, and told you it was a present for your school. The story ends when the police officer you summoned—according to plan—opened the bag and found $50,000. What if the guy with the money was well-dressed and pulled up in a Tesla? Are you ready for something like that? Can you plan for it?

Oh, okay, so nothing like this happens in Lutheran schools. Or does it?

Are you ready for Jesus to come again? After all, you pray “Come, Lord Jesus” in unison before lunch—after stubbornly outwaiting the first grader who sullenly refuses the folding command. But “Come, Lord Jesus” is different when accompanied by a meal and a tribe of hungry kids eager to eat, isn’t it? Do you really mean it? If you do, you better be ready. He may just show up. Even during recess. Or lunch. Or among the parking lot players planning their next plot.

“Come, Lord Jesus” is no idle invitation. We focus on it every year at this time as we finish an old church year and begin a new one. Yes, we live today in the advent of Advent. Are you ready for it?

As a child, I loved Advent. It was what seemed an interminable time of waiting for Christmas to FINALLY be here. Christmas specials on TV, store decorations, trees inside the house, mail delivery twice each day, Bing dreamily crooning about a white Christmas, walking home on frosty Wednesday nights after the Advent services. Oh, all the things leaving memories to enjoy over the years!

But Advent is more than the exciting (okay, trying) weeks of rehearsing the Christmas program and anticipating gifts—both to give and be given. The real Advent is real life. Everyday life, waiting—sometime patiently sometimes reluctantly, sometimes impatiently—for Jesus to come again. And that’s something to teach your students, no matter their age.

So how do you prepare yourself and those you serve for the Second Coming? (If the Second Coming sounds ominous to you, you really need to up your readiness. You’ll enjoy life on earth much more if you plan ahead.)

First—and most important is to know and teach readiness: You can’t get ready on your own. You’re ready already! Jesus made you ready when He lived, died, and rose from the dead. His Advent present—and presence—is second to none. So celebrate Advent as if you’re going to live forever.

Second, take a trip to your local cemetery. Take the kids on a field trip if your cemetery is adjacent to your school. Respectfully explore. Note the years that individuals died. Then remember, that all these saints are waiting in sure hope of popping out of those graves, happy, glorified people who are going to see their Savior forever. Wow! Wouldn’t it be a wonderful surprise if He showed up right there and then? (No permission slips necessary. No more tears, fears, or hurts, or folding hands problems either.)

Third, enjoy an Advent devotion or other kind of Bible study. Lutheran Hour Ministries usually offers one that I enjoy. Lutherans For Life is another among many. Check out your favorite ministries. LEA even has some singles. Try Advent Mission, Advent Countdown, and Happy Advent!

Ready for Jesus to return? Yes, indeed. Come Lord, Jesus. Your guests are waiting.

Ed Grube is LEA’s Director of Communications, having served 27 years as a Lutheran school principal and 23 years in national Lutheran ministries.

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