I well remember the Scout Motto ‘Be Prepared’; it is a good motto for life. In scouting terms it means ‘always being in a state of readiness, in mind and body, to do your duty.’
When we climbed Ben Nevis, we had to be prepared in mind to actually tackle the mountain and in body to be physically fit enough, which was mainly achieved by doing some long walks in Derbyshire. We also had to be prepared in terms of footwear, clothing, maps and compasses, and to be carrying enough food and water for the journey
But what does ’Be Prepared’ mean for us in Christian terms? Early in his ministry, when Jesus sent the disciples out to preach the kingdom of God, he told them to take nothing with them for the journey. He simply gave them power and authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1-3).
After the resurrection, Jesus told the disciples that they were to be witnesses to all they had seen and all he had taught them, but that they were to wait in the city until they had been clothed, by the Holy Spirit, with power from on high. (Luke 24:48,49).
There is almost a sense that to be prepared in Christian terms is to be unprepared in human terms. Being prepared as a Christian is not about knowing the answer to every question that might be thrown at us, or about being able to quote every verse from the bible, it is about spending time with Jesus and being empowered by the Holy Spirit; it is about bearing witness to the love of God that we have all known and experienced in our lives.
This time, between Easter and Pentecost, is a time when the disciples worked through the issues that had been raised by the traumas of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion, such as their fear of the authorities, Thomas’s doubts and Peter’s denial. In this time they realised the significance of the resurrection and they waited for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in power, to equip them for the task ahead. Let us too work through the issues that hold us back, let us get a hold on the significance of the resurrection, and let us get on with the task ahead, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Theophilus is the guy for whom Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. (Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1) Theophilus means ‘Lover of God’ so, if you love God, it was written for you!