Monday, November 14, 2011

What Are We To Do in the Meantime?

Last Sunday the question raised was, “Are we ready?” Are we ready for Jesus to come, again? Today, Paul is telling the people of Thessalonica not to worry about that because no one knows the time or the day when Jesus is coming. And, Matthew’s gospel is talking, again, about what God’s kingdom is like. Oh, and the reading from Judges is about trusting God, having faith that He will really do what he says he will do.

So, maybe every one of these readings has something to do with trust, faith, or hope, whatever you want to call it. My question for all of us today is, “What are we to do in the meantime?” What are we to do while we’re waiting for Jesus to return?

We know Jesus is coming. He just hasn’t come yet and we’ve been waiting an awfully long time. Every so often we hear someone tell us they know exactly when Jesus is going to arrive. And there are many, it seems like, who believe them. And then there are those who just scoff at Jesus ever coming back. And, again, those who predicted Jesus’ arrival are wrong; so that just reinforces what the scoffers say.

What do you think? Is Jesus coming or not? Is it important for any of us to know when? And, what should we be occupied with while we wait?

I honestly think all of it is about trust; faith in what the scriptures tell us and the hope we have in Jesus. Hope that our sins are forgiven; hope that we will one day see again all those who have gone on ahead of us.

But we have a hard time trusting. It may be because the world has made so many promises and failed to keep them that we don’t believe that God’s promises are any better.

We’ve been conditioned by the world to think that it can provide for all of our wants, wishes, and needs. And yet, every time it falls painfully short.

There are times when we do take a chance and risk doing something different, maybe actually trying to live a Christian life of forgiveness and love, and, yes, maybe even serving our neighbors.

But then someone says something to ridicule what we’re doing. They think it’s silly to help folks when there’s no chance they’ll ever change. And we let that get to us. For some reason we can’t take that kind of persecution.

We fail at trying to live like Jesus, to love like Jesus, to heal the wounds of the world like Jesus. We think that God can’t possibly forgive us for our lack of faith. The world sneaks in and hardens our hearts and stiffens our necks. We forget God’s promises to forgive us.

How does that happen? Why do we allow it to happen? What can we do to keep it from happening again and again? You know the answer, trust. Trust in God and His word.

I don’t even have to tell you what I think we need to do to build up our trust and/or faith. You already know the answer to that. We can do nothing. We have to depend on God’s grace.

But we can depend on God’s grace. It will never let us down. When the world fails us God never will.

So, why do we find it so hard to risk loving God, loving our neighbors? Is it because the world has failed us so many times? Then why not try it God’s way? Trust in Him.

So, what’s the answer to our question, “What are we to do in the meantime, while we wait for Jesus to return?” I think you know the answer…serve God and serve our neighbors as Jesus taught his disciples and us. Risk loving God and risk loving our neighbors.

Are you skeptical? My answer is, “Try it before you deem it a failure.” Try it God’s way. Give it all to God and trust in his grace. What have you got to lose?

Jesus is coming again and until he arrives let’s not worry about the time or the place. Let’s be doing what God called us to do, serve God and neighbor with love and grace as Jesus taught us to do.

Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.

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