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