Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Most Important Task – Ready or Not?

“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

~Mark 13:35-37 (NRSV).

This subject touches many a flickeringly raw Christian nerve. What Jesus has prophesied variously in the gospels, and in this chapter from verse 14 (The Desolating Sacrilege), has captivated our interest. When will the end come, and how?

But, let’s not get distracted.

It’s plain from Jesus’ words above that we have one simple task: to get ready and stay ready, alert for whatever may come about, even to the persecution ahead.

A Beautiful Bookend

What strikes us possibly in the plainest of ways, here, is Jesus’ imperative: “keep awake.”

Poignantly, the closest of Jesus’ disciples—Peter, James and John—couldn’t “keep wake” when Jesus wished for them to keep watch when he prayed at Gethsemane.

And we too will often fail the Lord, especially as it relates to keeping awake. Often we’re found to have failed to “keep awake” spiritually—and we only have to imagine how difficult it can be to do this spiritually as we contrast the impossibility of staying awake when we’re rampantly physically fatigued. Going without sleep for days sees us collapse, eventually, zonked.

A Global Message for Every Age

Jesus brings this message to every single human being ever born. Verse 37 nails it: “And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

The Church might be ‘the Elect’ but this message is to all. The destiny of the Church is the reaching of the farthest soul; every last one.

Like the broad message of Luke 15—the Father’s always looking for that last lost sheep and Prodigal—God’s not satisfied until every single soul has heard this message of salvation, but even then this may not preclude the Lord’s will to end it all—so far as timing’s concerned.

The main point is God’s indelibly interested in every last one; that they might have a will assigned and aligned to the Saviour’s.

Preparedness and Readiness

Are we ready to die today? It’s a fair enough question. Cancer’s a good enough reason, though it’s not as acute in onset as a tragic fatal accident, and it’s certainly more likely than the Rapture is, but either could happen.

The point is, if we were ‘recalled’ today or tonight, and we didn’t awaken from our slumber, or were hit by the number ten bus, would we be ready?

Have we got our affairs in order?

Have we made our reconciliations good?

Are we ready to meet our Saviour and our God?

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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