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     Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. Luke 12:35-37 
     King Jesus, through the years I’ve suffered through some horrible teaching about your second coming, most of which generated self-centered fear, gospel-less speculation, and political sensationalism. That’s hardly what you had in mind when you charged us to watch and wait for your return. As I meditate on this passage this morning, much of the theological rubbish and rubble is cleared away.
     Jesus, I’ve never been less anxious and more ready for your return, but only because of a growing understanding of the gospel. I’m already wearing the right clothes—the wedding garment of your perfect righteousness. I’m no longer afraid of your return. I very much want you to come back, O loving Bridegroom. The oil in my lamp will never run dry, for you’ve sealed me as your own and have sent the Spirit to dwell in my heart forever.
     Lord Jesus, because the gospel is true, I’m ready for service in two ways. First of all, I’m ready (as counter-intuitive and astonishing as it is) for you to serve me. According to the Scriptures, when you return, you’ll be dressed and have us, your bride, “recline at the table”; then you’ll come and wait on us (Luke 12:37). What a knee-buckling image. What wondrous love is this, indeed!
     But nothing has changed, all you’ve ever done is serve your people—in creation and by your incarnation, through your life of perfect obedience and death upon the cross as our substitute; by your resurrection from the dead and ascension to the Father’s right hand; by your constant advocacy and heavenly intercession. You’re always giving to us—grace upon grace upon grace.
     Secondly, as I consider all the ways you serve us, Jesus, I have a renewed passion to serve you and to serve with you as you gather your bride from among the nations and as you are busy making all things new. You’re coming back to finish a work that is well under way, by you and for you. Whose feet do we wash today? Where are you setting prisoners free? To whom is your tear-wiping hand reaching? Where are you bringing first-fruit expressions of your kingdom of redemption?
     What an honor and privilege it is, Jesus, to serve with you. So very Amen I pray with gratitude, in your holy and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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