No one knows

[The second of two posts that belonged to, but weren’t quite ready for] Saturday

Mark 13

Sunlight illuminating the forest floor.  Photo credit: dkbonde

Sunlight illuminating the forest floor. Photo credit: dkbonde

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Okay. Now we have to talk moderately. We do not know when Christ will come. But we live in the light of his coming. We live in the light of his words and deeds, his life death and resurrection, and we live in the light of his promise to gather all things to himself in God’s great act of recreation. Christ is the Alpha and omega, he is our beginning and our end. He is the self-expression of God in whom all things were created and he is the goal toward which all things move. Our beginning was in God and our End is in God – God revealed in the self-giving love of Christ Jesus.

We do not know when Christ will come, when the kingdom will dawn in the full brightness of eternal day, when the New Jerusalem descends like a bride, when the lion lies down with the lamb, when every heart kneels is service and adoration of the perfect faithfulness of God.

We have no schedule, no timetable, no outline, no sequences of steps, just a promise that the risen Christ is “seated at the right hand of God,” is the governing truth of all existence. And that his “kingdom” shall come; he shall reign in every heart.

We do not know when Christ will come, but we live in the light of his coming. We live in the light of his reign. We live under the governing influence of his Spirit. We live in the promise and hope that all things are fulfilled in him.

So we do not know when he shall come; but we know that he comes. And we are called to live as his faithful bondservants. We are called to be awake – not searching the skies for him to come, not searching the earth for the latest tragedies that might point to his pending arrival – but awake and doing the tasks he has given us: to show steadfast faithfulness to God and to all others.

We have seen in Christ Jesus the new leaves of an eternal spring. We have seen in Christ Jesus lives made whole. We have seen in Christ Jesus sins forgiven and enemies loved. We have seen the grave unable to hold him prisoner. We have felt the warmth of that spring in our own lives – mending what was broken, healing what was torn, restoring what was lost. We have seen it in the lives of others around us. We have seen the equivalent of the blind seeing and the lame man in the temple leaping for joy.

We are awake and watchful – not obsessed with signs of the end – but obsessed with the task of living and sharing this Gospel: the news has a come back from the battlefield and God is victorious. Sin and death and the devil are defeated. War and violence and bitterness of soul, despair and greed, these are all thrown down. They will not reign. They will not enslave. They will not bind the earth in sorrow.

No one knows when Christ will come – except that he has come and he continues to come and he will come and my heart and every heart shall belong perfectly to him.

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