Signs, Signs

I’ve always joked with my churches that I won’t teach Revelation until I’ve been there at least five years because I don’t understand much of it.  I subscribe to United Methodist position on the second coming.  You know what that is?

It’s going to happen.

I was thinking about that as I read today’s Gospel reading, found in Mark.  Here’s part from Mark 13: 31-33:

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

2000px-simple_alert-svgAs I read that this morning, a couple of things stood out to me.  First, “about the day or hour no one knows.”  Jesus says not angels, not the Son, only the Father.  So in other words, no one but the Father knows.  So, don’t give into all the worrying, stressing, fear of the return.  (And by the way, as Christians, we have nothing to fear about the Lord’s return.  It will be a joyous thing – don’t let it become a fearful thing.  The Lord will make right all things corrupted by sin.  Do not be afraid – that’s the entire message of Revelation, don’t be afraid!).

Lot’s of books, tv shows, websites, preachers, everything will come around telling you, they know the secret!  They know when it will happen!  They know!  Jesus here tell us, on the Father knows.  Don’t get caught up in that needless worry.

But second “Be aware, keep alert.”  Because no one knows, it could be today!  Live this day to the fullest.  Live in the sacredness of this moment.  Live knowing that this could be the day that He returns.

There is a great prayer in the funeral service found in the United Methodist Book of Worship.  I’ve always liked what it says; it always sticks with me after every funeral:

Help us to live as those who are prepared to die.
And when our days here are accomplished,
enable us to die as those who go forth to live,
so that living or dying, our life may be in you,
and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us
from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Let us live as those who are prepared to die, and let us die as those who go forth to live, knowing that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Don’t worry.  Live fully.  Trust in God.  Don’t worry about all the “signs, signs.”  Trust in God.  He has all this in the palm of His hand.

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