One thing we are all so concerned about, at least here in America, is Time. What time is it? When are we going to ….? Time is money! You only have so much time on the planet.
You've heard all the cliche's before.
But the more I read Jesus, the less I'm concerned with Time as it relates to the gospel.
I don't think Jesus set the hourglass and wanted us to watch in urgency as time simply drifted away. I don't sense, at least through Matthew, that the message of the gospel is "Get it done Cause Time is running out."
Rather, I sense even in the eschatology (big word for 'end times' study) Jesus simply uses time to show us how we should be living every day.
In other words, the whole of the gospel has little to do with when the earth is going to end and Jesus would come back, but maybe the more important facet to look at is the idea it could end any second.
It makes my soul smile when I hear end times teachers try to predict the end of the world, as if to instill fear into the listeners to hurry up, get it done, because you never know.
Well, the fact is, you NEVER KNOW! But the response shouldn't be a fearful one.
We shouldn't be concerned with seeing the gospel like a race.
I think the faith living should be an every second deal, not weighed by looking at the clock ticking, but more like it's just the right thing to do. It's the transformation occurring on the planet that causes us to live every second, every minute, every hour, and every day as if Jesus has come to make things right.
That's the Peace which dwells in the heart of those in pain.
It's the key to facing death with an attitude of resolve.
It's not the fear which brings about satisfaction.
It's the daily understanding of God's plan for the world.
Jesus told a story of virgins waiting on a bridegroom. (Matthew 25) Some of them took oil for their lanterns, and others left the oil and let their candles burn out. The former knew they needed to prepare for a wait, the later were so excited they forgot it might take a while.
While they were waiting, the ladies who ran out of oil asked those who had prepared, "Can we borrow some of your oil while we wait?"
The whole of the parable is about the coming of the Son of man.
Some people will prepare and see LIFE comprehensively, while others will see it as a rush to the end.
Jesus follows the parable up by saying, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." And we don't.
We don't know the day or hour when Jesus returns.
We don't know the day or hour when the earth exhibits tragedy.
We don't know when violence will strike.
We don't even control the successful celebrations.
It's almost as if Jesus is saying, "CHILL OUT! Live Like I told you to live, and keep watch. I'm coming. Don't worry. Don't fear. RELAX!"
So for you today, let this be a reminder.
Following Jesus shouldn't be wrapped in anxious fear.
We shouldn't be scared of what is coming, or what might come.
For, "Greater is He who is in Me, than He that is in the world."
I know that doesn't raise much money, or gain a great audience of fear mongers. But it will bring peace to you when you focus on the main parts of the faith. How are you loving God TODAY? How have you loved others TODAY? And let the end times be just that….then end.
May God grant you the Peace that Passes all understanding this holiday season.
May He give you a vision of living life to the fullest, without fear.
May He comfort you in time of pain and need.
For the God we follow is the only hope for a broken world.