The End of the World
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
- Luke 21:34-36
These are the closing lines from Jesus’s sermon about the end of the world. He’s not focused on us trying to figure out how to predict it or even to prepare for it. Instead, he wants us to perceive God’s work in every day leading up to it.
Jesus spoke these words to 12 Jewish men, who clearly did not see the end of the world. Nor has any believer in the last twenty centuries. So it doesn’t seem like Jesus is trying to get us to pinpoint some historical event and get ready for it. Instead, he’s inviting us into an attitude of alertness.
The Message verse translates the beginning of these lines as, “But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping.” What a great way to capture the sense of Jesus’s words to us. Jesus invites us to awake to what God is doing TODAY - to be alert to it. And what God is doing today is the same thing God’s always up to - bringing heaven to earth (that’s why Jesus teaches us to pray “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”). This is the daily life of a believer - keeping our eyes peeled to where God is breaking through in the world we live in right now so that we might partner with God in the renewal of all things.
What are some of the biggest ways you’ve sensed God at work in your life in 2018? Take some time today to ponder where God has been breaking through and ask God what that might look like for you in 2019 to partner with God in those areas.