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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Matthew 24:23-51

For a long time, there has been a stream of conservative Christians that have been totally obsessed about the Second Coming of Jesus. They have written dozens of books interpreting the signs and speculating about when such an event will occur.

Every time I see one of these books, I can’t help but smile. I wonder to myself, “For a group that publically prides themselves on how well they know Scripture, how can they be so clueless?”

You see there are lots of statements that suggest no one will know when those “end times” will occur. There are at least three explicit statements to that effect in today’s reading alone!

• “But the exact day and hour? No one knows….”
• “You have no idea what day your Master will show up…”
• “Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up…”

I don’t think Jesus could have been any clearer in his language. And yet the industry (and I use that word very intentionally) of those who try to predict that time persists. Ugh!

All of this got me to wondering why some folks are so drawn to the notion of a Second Coming and the end times.

There are a lot of ways I could answer that. There is always the “these folks are unhappy in their current lives and are focused on finding a way out” train of thought. There would also be the “knowing a secret that no one else knows makes me feel more powerful than others.” I could go on and on speculating about reasons why some are so drawn to this concept.

For me, the notion holds no allure because I try to live in the moment and be fully present in my relationship with God. I don’t have to worry about when God might show up – for I believe God is already here! I figure by focusing my attention on my relationship with God in the here and the now, the rest will take care of itself.

All of this talk about the Second Coming and the end of days gives us the opportunity today to think about what verb-tense you spend most your time thinking about in regards to your relationship with God. Do you spend most of your time in the past tense – replaying past moments; do you spend most of your time in the future tense – anticipating what might happen; or do you spend most of your time in the present tense – cultivating a practice of awareness of God’s presence?

Til next time …

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