Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:1-28 (NRSV)
This material delves into eschatological as well as apocalyptic themes. In writing following the destruction of Jerusalem, Matthew may have been trying to encourage people to keep the faith.
It is good to remind ourselves
what we are about even when
things are falling down around us!
And yet, they do speak to us today.
We still have wars going on in the world.
There is still famine.
Natural disasters are still happening.
People do follow after teachings that may seem attractive but do not ultimately lead to life and joy and wholeness.
Jesus reminds us that “because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” This verse stands out to me as an important indicator of where I should be paying attention.
I think that people like order and structure – these things lead to security. If they are disrupted, it may be difficult to love to our fullest capacity. If you are hungry, it is difficult to feel inspired to share what you have with someone else who may be even hungrier.
And so what if chaos becomes the norm? Can I use constant change as an excuse to allow my love to grow cold?
Jesus mentions that the end of the world will not occur until the good news is preached to the ends of the earth. In Matthew’s day, this had yet to occur. In today’s world, Christianity may not be practiced in every corner but there is certainly exposure to it.
And so, in Matthew’s view, we remember that actions (fruits) speak louder than words. Maybe the good news of the kingdom that Jesus is referring to is the practice of humility and respect and love for all people.
When this occurs, the world (as we know it) will end.
A new age will begin.
Let it begin with me.
Prayer for the day:
God, we would like for things to stay the same for just a while.
It seems that the change that comes wears on us.
We confess that there are times when our love for one another does grow cold.
We pray that you would keep us on task – even through the changes.
Let your love flow through us so that we might be willing to engage with a hurting world.
Photo by Benerazzo via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.