“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” (Mark 13:32-33 NKJV)
There are times when God gives us meticulous details. Todays Old Testament reading dealt with Solomon’s house and Huram’s work in the Temple. I’ll be honest with you, when I read these detailed passages, my eyes glaze over and I have to be careful as I read so I don’t lose my place. Still, when Jesus talked about His return, I was ready for the details. And every time He talks about His return, He starts off with a lot of details that sound like He may be giving a checklist for that to happen. We look at those details and start thinking of all we can do to hasten His return. And every time Jesus finishes the details, He ends His teaching with something like “all those things will happen, and the time is close, but no one knows when it’s going to happen.”
When I first started reading the Bible and I’d come to those passages, I’d feel let down. If we know how many curtain rings each curtain in the Tabernacle had, and how many lavers were there for the Temple, why can’t we know the timetable for Jesus to come again? Instead, we’re told that we can’t know with the admonition to watch and pray for His return. If we believe that God knows what He’s doing, and I do, then there has to be a reason. I don’t know God’s reasoning for sure, but I suspect that He realizes that if we knew Jesus was returning on a specific date, we’d wait until just before that time to do the work God’s called us to do in the meantime. So, we know that Jesus is coming again soon, but in the meanwhile, He’s given us work to do: feed the hungry, clothe and house the poor, proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, and so much more. If you don’t know what God wants you to do while we wait for His return, find out. Do it. Keep sharing the love and grace of God in all you do while you wait.
Oh Lord, I’d love to know exactly when You are coming back. Since I don’t know, help me to live each day as if You were coming back on that day. Keep me serving You as I go through life and let my service draw people to you.