The motto of the Boy Scouts is "Be Prepared." To fulfill that motto they learn how to build a fire, pitch a tent, tie a knot, and follow a trail. "Be Prepared" could also be the motto of the Christian.

Jesus often taught us to be prepared for his return. There is that strange parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13) who, having cheated his employer, cheated him again in the hope of getting a job with someone else. Jesus did not comment that man's character or integrity, nor did He recommend his business practices. Jesus told the story to illustrate one point only: the man made some preparation for the future.

The parable of the bridesmaids (Matt. 25:10) also emphasizes the need to be prepared. Five had brought sufficient oil for their lamps to keep burning through the night. The other five had, foolishly, not made sufficient preparation.

Along twisting highways in the southern Appalachian Mountains one often saw hand painted on rocks "Prepare to Meet God." The next death defying curve gave immediacy to the warning. One never knows is such well-meaning warnings were ever heeded, but believers need always to prepare for the return of our Lord. "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:44 (NIV).

-Robert Shannon, Preaching January/February 1998