Readings for November 18, 2018
Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
I like having a schedule. I want to know what’s happening and when it’s supposed to happen. If I know the schedule, I can be in control, and I can be prepared.
One thing that I wish I had an exact ETA on is the time of great distress, wrought by a heavenly battle, that Daniel foretells in this week’s reading. From this battle, “some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.” Jesus offers a similarly difficult, if not wholly bleak, picture of the time following this great distress, adding that “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.”
This all seems pretty ominous, and I think it’s clear why I would want a little heads up on when this doomsday may be coming. After all, I’d like to make sure that I am counted among the “some” who shall live forever, and not the “others” living in everlasting horror and disgrace. However, Jesus offers me very little consolation, saying, “But of that day and hour, no one knows.” How can I prepare for and take control of an event that hasn’t been scheduled?
Perhaps that’s the point. It’s a difficult lesson for me, but I am not in charge. God is in charge. And I just need to follow His ways.
Jesus says that everything here, all I know on earth, is going away. But what doesn’t go away is the Word of God. So if I want to live forever, it stands to reason that I should cling to what is forever. Jesus, the everlasting Word Incarnate, offered the final sacrifice so that I can be counted among the elect, as one who has been made perfect through his consecration.
While the schedule is unknown, the time of preparation is fully known. And it’s right now. Since I don’t want to live in “everlasting horror and disgrace,” I need to take the time I have in front of me as a time of preparation. In this time I am called to know, to live, and to love the Word. Engaging with the weekly readings in reflection and prayer is a start. Acting on what I learn from them comes next.
Thank You, Lord, for showing me the path to life, the fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever. Thank you for giving me what I need to prepare for an everlasting life in Your Kingdom, living in Your grace through Jesus Christ. Amen