Surprise Visit!


So there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but to all who loved his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:8

Pastors have a lot of stories to share over their time of shepherding the flocks.  Here is one such story:

When I was in the parish, I liked going out to see the people in their homes.

You just never knew what was going to happen.  I remember one instance when I came calling unexpectedly.  From the street I had seen shadows of people moving around in their home.  As I came up the walk, I could hear music playing.  The TV was on.  I knew somebody was in there.

Knocking, I heard footsteps coming towards the door.  The steps stopped and in a rather loud voice someone said, “Oh, no!  It’s the preacher.”  Another voice said, “No, not the preacher, not now.  What does he want?”  Then I heard the mother of the house whisper loudly enough so that I and everyone else could hear.  “Don’t let him in.  Clean up the house first!”

Normally, this mother was a quiet, soft-spoken soul; the kind of lady who was loved and respected by all who knew her.  Normally, she was gentle as a lamb and her words were filled with kindness.  But when she said, “Quick, clean up the house!” those words had iron in them.

There was no discussion, no argument; no, “Do I have to?” or “It’s not my job.”

When mom said, “Quick, clean up the house!” everybody hopped to it.  I knocked again.  Mom began to bark out orders like a drill sergeant:  “You, get the Sunday paper and put it away!  You, put the Bible on the coffee table, and you, get your dirty socks off the kitchen counter.”  To her husband she said, “Put on a clean shirt.  I won’t let pastor see you in that old thing.  Next time I throw it away, I’m going to do it on garbage day so you can’t fish it out of the trash.”

Now all this took less time to do than it does to tell.  Eventually, when she was assured that at least the living room was clean enough for inspection, the door opened, and mother – brushing a few disheveled hairs back from her brow – invited me in.

With a flushed face from running around, she began with a little white lie and said, “Pastor, I’m sorry.  We didn’t hear you.”

I had a hard time keeping a straight face.

Now I hope you find this story amusing.  It was meant to be. 

But it stands in contrast to the way things will be in the last Day when the Savior comes calling.  He’s going to come without warning.  He’s not going to wait patiently for us to get our house in order.  Either we will be ready for His arrival – or we will not.

It’s my prayer that you will be ready and I hope you pray the same for all those around you.  So we might be cleansed of our sins and saved, God’s Son was born into this world.  So we might not find Judgment Day to be disturbing, Jesus carried our sins, resisted temptation, and conquered death.

Because He has done all we could not, we who believe are able to rejoice.  When Jesus returns, we will be ready.                                                                                                                        

Pastor Jeff