Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:29-51 (NRSV)
I remember watching a video at a Wednesday night church meeting (Assembly of God) when I was a child. I was likely in preschool and it was about the rapture. People kept disappearing and others they knew were left behind. It left quite an impression and soon after when I was in the backyard playing, I entered the house and couldn’t find my mother. She was in the front yard watering the flowers. I assumed that the rapture had come and I had been left behind.
It turns out that my mother had a similar experience with my father when they were first married. He had hidden in a trundle bed in their apartment as a joke and she was frightened that he had gone up to heaven.
Maybe a better image of being “left behind”
is one pictured above. We run to catch up
because of the joy of walking with God!
These are based on interpretations of verses 40-42 in today’s reading. When we are faced with crisis, we often seek to keep people safe from danger. The realities of staying true to the faith during times of trouble in Matthew’s day were difficult. Many turned away and these passages about the end times sought to keep people on the right track.
When we focus too much on these, however, we may tend to judge the faith of others. Jesus has already told us not to do that in the Sermon on the Mount but it is too tempting. Christians I have known that have let this chapter become the lens of their faith have missed out on the much more important preceding chapters.
That being said, watchfulness is merely what we do during Lent. The very fact that you are reading this blog now means that you are engaging in watchfulness for your own spiritual state of being. You are willing to ask the difficult questions of yourself. Any anxiety over “readiness” can be set aside.
It is helpful for us to examine ourselves and ask difficult questions. It is not often helpful to second-guess ourselves and to become anxious over our own walk with God. The fruit produced by anxiety does not taste very good.
Prayer for the day:
God, we know that we have a limited amount of time in this life.
We know that there are times we see suffering and injustice.
There are times when these things visit us personally.
Keep us in the faith when life becomes hard.
Let us remember that without our faith, life is even harder.
May this lessen any fearfulness or doubt that seeks to enter our minds.
And may this make us ready for whatever may come.
Photo by Prithu De via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.