Transparent Waiting

Transparency of heart is when the thoughts and feelings of our heart are apparent to all who watch us in action. For the follower of Jesus Christ, one of the marks of a transparent heart is a deep desire to do the will of God — to live a holy and godly life. It is not self-centeredness, but “Christ-centeredness.”

In the apostle Peter’s day, those who wanted to live a self-centered life would scoff at the idea that we are waiting for Christ, our King, to return. They wanted to live their selfish lives as if there was no King, no Judge and no day of judgment.

Sadly, their selfish way of life was deceiving some of Peter’s listeners. So Peter is forced to reaffirm that Christ is not going to be a “no-show.” His return is timed perfectly to match God’s patience. And God is patient because he wants as many people as possible to repent and be saved.

We don’t know what that timing is. But come he will. Swiftly and unexpectedly. And on that day, everything around us will be destroyed. Our entire material world will be laid bare.

As we wait for our King’s return, we are to live as people who know that the King is alive. We know this because we daily witness the living King’s work in our own hearts. Being transparent people, our actions allow people to see through to our hearts. And to see Jesus living in our hearts.

Meanwhile, we look forward to the glorious return of our King. And we wait for it expectantly — we speed its coming, as Peter says — when we live holy and godly lives. Living with a transparent heart is, in other words, the very best preparation for the return of our King.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:9-12a, NIV).

Jesus, my King, as I wait for your return, help me to live transparently, with holiness and godliness. Forgive me for the times when my sinful heart takes over. Wash me clean again in your blood, shed on the cross for me. I want to give you glory every day as I anticipate your coming.

Our Bible reading for Sunday, November 29, is Daniel 4:19 – 5:16, 2 Peter 3:1-18 and Psalm 135:13-21.

Header image based on "Greta Oto (wings open)" by Alias 0591, CC By 2.0


Are you a “prepper”? Maybe that word gives you an image that you don’t easily identify with. You imagine underground bunkers in the backyard with black and yellow nuclear signs pointing to the entrance. You see stockpiles of food, firearms and first-aid kits. You hear survivalists debating the merits of water filtration versus water purification.

Maybe your mind goes even further than that. You think the term is defined as “wild-eyed zealot dropping out of life and doing anything and everything possible to get ready for doomsday.”

Let’s admit it right now. That doesn’t sound all that appealing, does it?

But, in a different sort of way, Jesus encourages all of us to be “preppers.”

There really is going to be a distressing — very distressing — period of time prior to the return of Jesus. And we do need to be ready for it.

“Ready” means finding peace and courage in Jesus. “Ready” means knowing that as a follower of Christ you can anticipate tough times ahead. But most of all, “ready” means knowing Jesus is your Lord, and your Savior.

He is going to return. And this time he’s coming with power and great glory.

“So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Matthew 13:23-27, NIV).

Our Bible reading is Leviticus 14:1-57, Mark 13:1-31 and Psalm 30:8-12.

Lord, send your Spirit into my heart through word and sacrament that I might be ready when you return. Give me peace, strength and courage for the hard times ahead. Help me to be prepared for whatever comes as I wait for you to return “in great power and glory.”

Header image based on "survivalist shelter" by Torley, CC By-SA 2.0