Luke 10:2-5 And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house!"
When its Christmastime, we talk about how Jesus is coming, and then once Christmas comes, we stop talking about Jesus coming, and so its not surprising that many people think that there is plenty of time to get ready to meet God, and they can postpone getting ready until later. What they mean is that although they know their sins, and although they know they should repent, and although they know they should get their life in order – there seems no real reason to do it now, and so they put it off until tomorrow, or the next day.
That is the first reason why it is good for us to have a little Christmas in July, and just about any other time, for it is important all the time to remember that Jesus is coming. It is important that we are ready, but it is even more important that we listen to the word which speaks to us – not only does it call us to repent of our sins and put our house in order – but the word of God also call us to go forth and prepare the whole world for the coming of our Savior, not at Christmas, but at judgement day.
And that is the first reason why our house needs to be in order now, because we have other work to do, and there won’t be time later. We examine ourselves, using the 10 commandments, we repent of our sins, and we ask God’s forgiveness, receiving assurance of that forgiveness is the body and blood of our savior, given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. We are ready, not so much because of our actions, but rather is the grace of God, which washes away our sins and makes us a new creation, by faith, God makes us ready to meet our savior.
But the second reason is that if our house is not in order, what kind of a messenger will we be, when we are sent forth to tell the whole world that Jesus is coming? We won’t be taken seriously, they won’t heed our message, and they won’t be ready when Jesus returns, and they will perish – and God didn’t want them to perish, that’s why Jesus died, not just for us, but for all.
So we are sent forth, to prepare the way for Jesus return. And that is the thing we need to remember, and it is so important, that some of the normal things are set aside. The first thing that is set aside is the usual requirements for going forth, you’ve got to get ready, you’ve got to pack what you need – but not this time, it is so important to get the message out that Jesus is coming that we are not to take any luggage, not even our checkbook – and at once, some are saying – who can live like that? And yet if it is by faith that our sins are forgiven, and by faith that we hope to see heaven, then why not trust in the words our Lord taught us to pray, that He will indeed give us each day exactly what we need?
And if it is hard for us to lay aside the things we think we need to do for ourselves to take care of ourselves – because telling people Jesus is coming is more important, because it is ore important that they get ready so they do not perish. (Remember, people will see that we are trusting in God for daily bread, and they will see in our example that God is faithful and that God can be trusted for all our needs. But the hardest thing is the next part – "Greet no one on the way!" Why that’s as hard as saying that I can’t go to coffee to visit with the neighbors. They’ll think I’m not friendly – they’ll make that comment about how he’s got his head in the clouds and is no earthly good at all. Or they’ll think I’m conceited, to good to talk with them. What does this mean?
When Jesus says "Greet no one on the way!" – he is not saying that we cannot wave hi, or say hello – but he is saying that we don’t really have time to talk about the weather, or to engage in chitchat – as the time is short, and Jesus is coming, and we have been sent, so that people might know and be prepared. He is not saying not to be friendly, he is not saying to be aloof and unapproachable – he is merely saying don’t let anything distract you from your primary purpose, which is to tell people that Jesus is coming, and to help them to get ready.
And that’s where Christmas in July helps, for it reminds us that every day is a day for getting ready, every day is a day for being prepared – not just for us, but all need to be getting ready, for Jesus is really coming.
How do we get ready? We examine ourselves, repent of our sins, and ask God to forgive us, and to give us the grace that we may break old habits, and change our sinful ways. And once we are ready, we help others that they to might be prepared, for Jesus is coming.