But in Those Days
These words begin this week’s text, which is Mark 13:24-37. This passage has Jesus talking about the end times, and what they might look like. This seems an odd way to begin a new church year, but there it is. It also seems that Jesus has the timing a bit off. He says in Verse 30 that this generation won’t pass away until all these portents have occurred. Obviously, the world is still here so what gives? Well, the main point of this, I think, is that the generation that Jesus spoke to did see great portents occur. They were witnesses to the Resurrection. They saw the emergence of the early church and the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom here on earth. These are indeed miraculous things to witness, and to be a part of.
Jesus Did Not Give a Day and Time for the End
The other thing to keep in mind about this passage is that Jesus did not make a prediction about when the end of the age would occur. He spoke of the things that this generation would witness and as I indicated they did indeed see amazing things. However, Jesus specifically backs away from offering a day or time for the end of the age. Verse 32 is very clear when Jesus says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”. If Jesus will not venture a guess about when the end is nigh, it is best that we do not either.
It’s Really About Preparation
What Jesus is clearly telling us is to simply be always ready. Since we do not know when the end is coming for us personally, nor for the world as a whole, we are to be prepared and to wait patiently. This is why this passage about the end times is positioned at the start of the church year. Advent is a time of preparation and waiting. We prepare and wait for the commemoration of the arrival of God’s Son on earth. While we prepare for the Feast of the Incarnation on December 25th. we are directed to focus on the point of all that God is doing, preparing His children for the end of the age. We are directed to trust that this end will come, both for us and for the world, and to be ready. So, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the amazing new thing that God did through His Son Jesus the Christ here on earth, we also prepare our hearts for the consummation of all God’s creation. We strive to live each day in response to the incredible gifts of grace upon grace that God has showered on the world. That is, we are to live each day believing and obeying.
Praise Be to God