Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Luke 11:37–54; 12:4–21, 35–53; Amos 6:1; Luke 8:4–15; 22:24–27
They thought they were ready, but the flood still caught them by surprise. The Tucker family knew they lived in a flood-prone area outside Houston. That’s why they built 3 feet above the 100-year flood plain. They even placed their generator on higher ground. But then came the flood. Last week’s heavy rain and slow-moving storm system dumped a tremendous amount of water upon most of Texas and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the Houston area. Deadly tornadoes were scattered throughout in the mess.
“ ‘We always thought, boy, were we smart to build the house up,’ said Jeff Tucker, a 68-year-old retired corporate lawyer. But [last] Tuesday, an overnight storm sent a foot of water gushing into their home. Family photos, Persian rugs, their new Lexus, even the generator—all left soaked. ‘It looked,’ Margaret Tucker said, “like we had a house in a lake.’ ”1
First responders carried out over 500 water rescues. Most of them were stranded motorists who abandoned their vehicles to seek higher ground. About 2,500 cars were left behind. On the night of May 25-26, almost 11 inches of rain poured onto Houston. Flash flooding killed two people trapped in their cars. Another was found a day later and a fourth fell out of a rescue boat and drowned. There have been 46 fatalities in all related to the late-May floods and tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico.
Natural disasters are nothing with which we should mess around. Even though the Tucker family had flood damage, they were in a much safer position than many who were completely unprepared. It’s the same with the spiritual preparation we must make as we near the coming of Christ. Our Sabbath school lesson this week reminds us how to be ready: “Following Jesus in Everyday Life.”
It is not the grand religious meetings that we attend every so often that make us ready for heaven. It is not the occasional inspirational worship service, or the once-a-year special time we make with God. Rather, it’s the daily, small, consistent, earnest steps we take to be a true disciple of Christ. First responders don’t practice for disasters once a year. They have rigorous and regular sessions that mimic real-time catastrophes.
When calamities strike, firefighters, EMTs, and even the best-prepared citizens know that nothing ever goes according to plan. That’s why it’s helpful to be ready all of the time. This is good advice for Christians living in stormy times. “ ‘Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect’ ” (Luke 12:40 NKJV).
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