Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's the end of the world as we know it

Lk 21:29-33, Lk 21:34-36, Mk 13:33-37

I’ve lost count now about how many ‘ends of the world’ I’ve lived through, but I can tell you I have never lost even a moment’s sleep thinking about any of them.  Since I came to faith in the Almighty at age 17 I can remember “learned” men telling me from the television that the end is nigh.  And so far our record for living through the end is 100%.  I just shake my head and pray, not only for them, but the people who follow them, who due to their errant doctrines, teachings, and words will lose faith.  I don’t think the people who preach/ teach this are bad people.  I think they have fallen prey to other misinformed teachers, all of which are trying hard and teaching passionately, but who also mistake their portion of truth for fullness.  Because of that, thousands upon thousands are being led astray.  Jesus himself prophesied that this would happen: Luke 17: 23, Matt 24:23, Mark 13: 21, Luke 17: 21, Luke 21: 8.  It has, and for 19.99 they will gladly sell you a book telling you the theories they pass for fact. 

For the price of free, let’s now explore what Jesus has to say about end times.

Luke 21: 29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.

"Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.

When their buds burst open,

you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;

in the same way, when you see these things happening,

know that the Kingdom of God is near.

Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away

until all these things have taken place.

Heaven and earth will pass away,

but my words will not pass away."

In Friday’s reading we begin with the parable of the fig tree.  Luke 21 is chocked full of times to come prophecy.  In 25-28 He talks about the signs that make men weak fainting with fear which warms us up for 29-33, where He basically equates it with watching for it like we watch for the changing of the season on a tree.  He goes on in the next reading….

Luke 21: 34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy

from carousing and drunkenness

and the anxieties of daily life,

and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.

For that day will assault everyone

who lives on the face of the earth.

Be vigilant at all times

and pray that you have the strength

to escape the tribulations that are imminent

and to stand before the Son of Man."

Here I believe He is speaking through time to us and all future generations.  It was and is important, no matter now imminent or not, His return is that we remain non-complacent with our walk with the Father.  In our modern time, as it always has been, it’s easy to become distracted from our walk by the stress, worry, busy, of our daily lives and allow our walks to take the back seat.  We get focused on how we are going to pay our utility bill this month for the massive amounts of Christmas lights we have going, on top of the ton of gifts we have to buy which pulls our budgets well out of the comfort zone.  We allow ourselves to become distracted by that to the point that we literally miss why we are doing any of it at all.  Jesus warns us about this kind of behavior, and I take it a little bit more personally here.  I may not live to see the actual end of the literal world, but one day my world will end as it will for everyone drawing breath right now.  Death comes as suddenly as the end times will eventually come.  Frankly, that’s the end time we need to be most focused on preparing for by not allowing ourselves to become numb by carousing, drunkenness (whether we are drunk by alcohol or some other “comforting” agent), and distracted by anxiety.  He asks us to be vigilant at all times, and pray we have the strength to make it through the worst of any time we as the world, or we personally face. 

Mark 13: 33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:

"Be watchful! Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

It is like a man traveling abroad.

He leaves home and places his servants in charge,

each with his own work,

and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.

Watch, therefore;

you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,

whether in the evening, or at midnight,

or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'"

Mark 13, like our previous chapter in Luke speaks a lot of the end times as well.  Our reading from Mark, again, asks us to be mindful, pray, and watch because it could happen at any time and will be completely unexpected.  We are to watch without expectation of knowing.  As I said in the earlier paragraph, while this applies to the end of days, it most certainly applies to our personal end day too.  We all must watch and be ready, anytime, anywhere, to meet our Divine Maker. Whether it happens globally, or personally, the point of Jesus warning us is to keep us focused on the fact this is all temporary.  He said in the first reading this very thing.  Everything will pass away, but the Word of the Lord will be forever.  That should be our comfort, and a constant companion in our minds as we wait, not only for His return, but for our return to Him.  Both things promise one thing: It will be the end of the world as we know it, and if we have kept our focus where it needs to be: we will be fine.

Just some food for thought and prayer.

Heavenly Father, please grant me the grace not to be deceived by distracted. Grant me the strength and wisdom to keep my focus on the Eternal and real so that when the end comes I have walked the narrow path back to You.  In Jesus name, AMEN!

Here I am, Lord, send me!

lisa brandel

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