Watching for Christ's return.
A box of popcorn and, if possible, show a movie clip of movie preview.
"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)
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Look what I brought today...a box of popcorn. I think there is enough popcorn for me to share it with all of you. Can you guess why I brought popcorn today? It is because I wanted to talk to you about going to the movies. Popcorn and movies go together — like peanut butter and jelly — or a burger and fries. When we go to the movies, we get a big box of popcorn, sit back and relax, and get ready to watch the movie. But first, we have to watch the previews of coming attractions. These are short clips of movies that will be coming soon. In fact, they almost always say, "Coming soon to a theater near you!" If we went to a movie today, we would probably see previews of all the new movies that will be coming during the holiday season. It is only four weeks until Christmas you know. As we watch the previews, we decide which movies we want to see and then we watch and wait until they come to a theater near where we live.
This is a season when we look forward to "Coming Attractions." We call this season Advent. Do you know what that means? It means the coming of something important. What is that important thing that is coming? Well, for one thing, Christmas is coming. We look forward to hearing the beautiful music and seeing the decorations. We look forward to Christmas parties and to sharing gifts with family and friends. Most of all, we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus.
There is something else that we are looking forward to during Advent, do you know what that is? We are looking forward to the day when Jesus is coming again. Jesus told his disciples that he would come again, but when they asked when, he told them that no one knows when that day will be. He said, "No one knows the day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven. Only the Father knows."
Wow! If we don't know when it is going to happen, what should we do? Well, it is a bit like the movie previews that say, "Coming Soon to a theater near you." They don't say exactly when, so we have to be watching so that we will be ready when they come. In fact, that is exactly what Jesus told his disciples. "Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
What should we do to make sure we are ready for Jesus when he returns? We should be doing the things that Jesus wants us to be doing -- loving one another, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor. If we are doing those things, we will be ready when he comes.
Dear Jesus, we look forward to your return. We don't know if you are "Coming Soon," but if you are, we pray that we will be ready when you come. Amen.