"Then they will see 'the Son of [God] coming in clouds' with great power and glory. But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only [God.] And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake." - Mark 13:24-37
The early followers of Jesus were pretty antsy after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Certain people kept trying to remind everyone that Jesus had predicted this would happen, but the last thing anybody wants to hear after disaster strikes is "I told you so."
The temple was supposed to be destroyed, eh? You know what else was supposed to happen?
Jesus was supposed to come back.
He was supposed to be riding on a cloud, setting right all wrongs. He was supposed to bring God's Reign, milk and honey and lions and lambs and ploughshares and pruning hooks and all that. As the stones of the temple came tumbling down, along with them came tumbling down everything that seemed stable and secure in life.
Perhaps your own life has tumbled into disarray, with patterns of living that once were sustainable now proving disastrous. Or perhaps you worry over your church and the line graphs at annual meeting that all point down. Or perhaps you see the nation, or the world careening toward ruination.
The gospel speaks the same challenging words of comfort to you as it did to those early Christians: keep awake, be ready, live like you know that a new world could be born any minute. Are you listening? All creation groans with labor pangs.
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus! If you have need of them, I offer You my hands and feet and mind and life as Your own. Amen.
John Edgerton is Associate Pastor at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.