January 2016

As many of you know, the new Star Wars movie came out at the end of December. Of course, for me, I was super excited to see it and actually saw it twice on opening day! But I was not alone. Millions of fans had been anxiously awaiting the release ever since they announced it was going to be made over two years ago. The internet went crazy when the planning of the film was announced. The internet went crazy again when the producers published a photo of the entire cast doing a read through. Then the internet went crazy again when the first preview came out. And, when presale tickets finally went on sale, fans crashed the ticket website because there was such high demand. Clearly, many people were overly excited to see Star Wars when it finally came out.

I think back to how excited I was for the movie to come out and it caused me to reflect on one spiritual issue. The Bible tells us to be really excited for another big event: the 2nd coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:7 says, “so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now when I think about how I felt leading up to Star Wars, I was definitely ‘awaiting eagerly.’ But when I think about Jesus coming back, am I waiting with that type of eagerness?

Of course we admit that we are excited for Jesus to come back. But do we look for it eagerly? Are we awaiting His return, or does it not really cross our mind? Probably the reason we do not eagerly await the coming of our Lord is that we are a bit too attached to this world here. There are many things that bring us joy and pleasure here in this world, and a lot of them are good gifts from our Heavenly Father to enjoy. But many entertainments and pleasures really have no eternal value, really don’t help us grow spiritually, and really offer no redeeming purpose whatsoever. And those are the hardest things for us to let go of. If Jesus gave Christians a spoiler and told us the day He was coming back and it was the day before the Super Bowl, or the day before our birthday, or right before we were going on a big family vacation, would we be ‘eagerly awaiting?’ How we answer that question reveals where our heart is.

One way that we can work on ‘awaiting eagerly’ the return of our Lord is to go back to that verse found in 1 Corinthians. It calls the coming of Christ His ‘revelation.’ That means when Jesus comes back He will be fully revealed. There will be no more hidden Christ. No more Jesus as a helpless baby. No more Jesus as the man being tortured and murdered. He will be revealed as God Almighty. (For a sneak peek read Revelation 19). Right now Jesus is mocked, laughed at, ridiculed, and scorned. When He comes back, all of that ends. The curtain is revealed and Jesus will receive the glory and worship He so rightly deserves. Now that is a reason to ‘await eagerly’ the coming of Christ. It’s not about us having to leave all of our stuff behind. It’s about Jesus getting the full recognition that He deserves.

Pastor Mark Scialabba