Of course what people mean by that generally is have you got all your presents bought, wrapped and in the post; are your cards written; have you got the food sorted.
But these readings lead us to the heart of the question:
“Are you ready?”
Are you ready not just for Christmas, not for what is expected, but are you ready for the coming of Jesus – not just at Christmas, but into our lives everyday.
Jesus advice to us is to always be ready. We do not know when Jesus will come. Some people may try to persuade us that they do, but we don’t really. And none of us know when our particular time will come.
My mum always has something to eat in, “Just in case” someone came round. She would hate to be caught without anything to offer them. She would want to be ready.
How do we live our lives? Do we live as if Jesus might appear at any time, or indeed as if he is with us all the time? Or are we waiting until the time is nearer? When I was younger I used to think there would be plenty of time for God, that I would come to him when I had had some fun – but what a waste that way of thinking is. I realised what a difference he could make to my life every day. Why would you not want to live with Jesus in your life now? Jesus makes a difference to our lives everyday, not just on the final day, if we let him in.
Will there ever be a time when arguments between nations will be settled?
Well that is what God promises, but it takes some action by people too.
“They will pound their swords and spears into rakes and shovels” (Isaiah 2:4 CEV)
When God comes, do you want to be found holding a sword or a rake, a spear or a shovel, a weapon of destruction, or a tool of productivity and growth?
Romans tells us to wake up, and stop doing the things that belong to the dark – to conduct ourselves properly.
God is coming – whether we’re ready or not.
God is coming – not just at Christmas, but everyday into our lives.
What will he find us doing? Warmongering or peacemaking? Living in a good way, or hoping no one catches us doing what we’re doing? Enjoying the presence of God, or putting it off?
Are you ready?