That is the statement that begins today’s reading in 1 Peter 4 and it caused me to think about endings. Endings come in many varieties:
Usually these endings approach us one at a time and when they do, there is a very natural sobriety that occurs. In some cases this may include a sense of accomplishment, in others a sense of grieving, but whatever the emotion, there is an instinctive time of taking stock as an ending nears.
In today’s’ reading, Peters’ statement takes a much broader perspective – ALL things are coming to an end. In light of this, he exhorts us with very specific examples of how we should be living: love one another, offer hospitality (without grumbling), serve others, and speak the word of God.
I suggest that these examples of living in preparation of the “end of all things” are really a preparation for “beginnings” for just as there are a variety of endings, each ending proceeds a new beginning:
It’s this final beginning that really matters. We need to hear and then live Peter’s exhortation, “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 4:11b