Matthew 3:3 – This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" (NIV)
As Tuesday closed in New York City, there was a strange silence. The streets were almost vacant of the usual flow of cars and trucks. They had disappeared, trying to avoid the coming blizzard.
The weather forecasters had predicted a blizzard that was bearing down on the city, bringing up to three feet of snow. A blizzard can be horrific, as it comes with devastating winds that can pile up the snow in drifts that could cause the city to come to a halt. The mayor of the city heeded the warning, ordered everyone to stay home, and shut down the subways and commuter trains.
People took the warning seriously and gathered up food supplies and water, leaving many food stores almost empty. Flights slated to and from New York were cancelled, leaving those headed either way stranded until the storm passed.
As it turned out, this storm passed by New York City about 40 miles farther east than was projected, with not nearly as much wind and snow as was expected. It moved north-east, dumping its snow on Boston and other areas instead.
The mayor of New York and the weather forecasters were all apologetic, saying that it was better to be safe than sorry. But this is not the first time that dire predictions of severe weather have not materialized. A couple of recent hurricane warnings were also exaggerated, so some people have become sceptical and disregard the warnings. It's like the old story of the boy who cried wolf.
Similarly, in each generation, Christians have seen signs that seem to indicate that that the second coming of Christ was imminent. It has been long delayed, and many people pay no attention to the warnings. But Christ's coming is for sure — there is no doubt about it. When the time comes, there will be no missing it, and we need to be ready at a moment's notice!
1 Thessalonians 5:2 – For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (NIV)
Luke 12:39-40 – But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (NIV)
Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, we come to You this day, praying for those who were actually in the way of the blizzard. May this storm remind us that we should always be aware of the words of Your prophets — to prepare for the coming of Christ and to keep our paths straight in You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "I Waited For The Lord My God" (Lyrics)