STIR up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Thine Only-Begotten Son, so that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
--Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
-- Luke 21:25–36 (NKJV)
As we continue to pray for the coming of Christ, the Gospel reading draws us to Jesus' second coming--the one for which his church yearns and longs, maybe with more urgency this year than most. While we prepare for Christ's second advent, let us not be slack or unprepared. Let us not make the mistake of thinking that there are yet signs to come which must precede his return. Let us not think that, since Christ has tarried some two thousand years, that he could not or will not return any day.
The Church has rightly understood that Christ could return at any time, even today. Let us prepare our hearts and lead lives marked by watching that we may one day stand before the Son of Man and be counted worthy, by faith in our Savior.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Photo by Alexander Nachev on Unsplash