One of the last things that Jesus told his disciples before he ascended into heaven is that they were to go to the upper room in the city of Jerusalem and wait for the promised Holy Spirit. I do not know if, after ten days of waiting for the Spirit to arrive, the people in the upper room perhaps had begun to settle into a routine. It is difficult to consistently remain in a state of high expectation. We know this ourselves. As believers in Christ, we are also awaiting a promise. When Jesus was on earth, he spoke often of the fact that he would be leaving, but then someday return to rule in his kingdom.
I think that in the first months after Jesus ascended into heaven, his followers probably woke up every morning wondering if this could be the day that Jesus would return. Then the months turned into years, the years into decades, and the decades into centuries. We sit now two thousand years afterwards, and we still await the return of Jesus.
Those of us who believe in Jesus also believe the fact that his return may be any day. Even today. However, if you are like me, this is rarely, if ever, your first thought when you wake up in the morning. We are more likely to think about what we are to do on that day, or else about making some coffee. Although we know that Christ may return today, we have settled into a routine. We should be careful about doing this. Although we may not be able to keep ourselves in a constant state of elevated attentiveness, we must always be attentive.
Maintaining our Vigilance
The principle point of many of the parables that Jesus told his disciples is that they were to remain alert. They were not to allow themselves to sink into slumber, but that they were to be watchful. “Therefore be on the alert,” Jesus told his disciples, “for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” So must it be for us, if we are disciples of Jesus. (Matthew 24:42. See also Matthew 25:10,13; Luke 12:40; 21:36 as well as others)
If we read the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the room on the day of Pentecost and think that it may have been a frightening experience for those present, think of how it will be at the return of Christ. Here is one account: (click on READ MORE below)