Saturday, December 09, 2006

Isaiah 4:2-6; Psalms 20, 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Luke 21:5-19

The readings in Luke and 1 Thessalonians are spooky to me. Both of these passages speak to the second coming. The passage in Luke is especially nerve wracking to me because they are the words of Jesus. He says that it will be sister against sister, brother against brother. If this happens during my lifetime, how will I endure such trials?

Jesus follows this, though, with such words of comfort. In The Word, it says that every detail of your body and head will be in his care. It goes on to say that there will be one big family reunion with God. What imagery!

So, how do we prepare ourselves for this? The Aztecs believed that the end of the world would occur on December 23, 2012, at 4:12 p.m. Evidently, their crystal ball has not been wrong yet. That is certainly a lot sooner than I thought. I’m not sure I’ll be ready.

There are many books written about the second coming of Christ and what we need to do to prepare. But I wonder, do we really need to do anything? If we are living the life that Christ means for us to live, what else is there to do to get ready? And if we are not living the life that Christ means for us to live, than the second coming really makes no difference.

This means that your decision today is the same as your decision on the most fateful of days. Will you live the life that Christ means for you to live? Will you give yourself entirely to his will? That is a difficult thing to do. Even though we may have the best of intentions, the discernment process is not always that clear.

So what we are left with is faith. You will not see a big, black arrow indicating “This way to the rapture.” At the same time, one cannot just sit by and watch time pass. We must take control over our spiritual well-being. Attend church, attend Bible-study classes, get involved with helping the world. Then, when we are called up to be with our Father in heaven, we will know that it is time and that we can meet the tests before us with God’s grace.

- Vicki Nelson

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