Did the “worthless slave” know the story of the foolish bridesmaids? When they did not preserve the oil for their lamps, the women were locked out of the party. We could understand why, if the slave knew that story, he would focus on preserving his money. But now he is locked out while the bridesmaids cry until their mascara runs, and all gnash their teeth.
In the beyond, in the dream, on the mountaintop, in the joy made flesh—not in the flesh still longing—is where I want to dwell. I long to be in the “new heavens and a new earth” where “former things shall not be remembered or come to mind,” as Isaiah puts it. Give me that.
There they all stood, gaping at the blinding wonder of the temple wall and thinking about how magnificent it was. That is, until Jesus stunned the group by blurting out, "Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
If I could tell when the end times were on their way by the number of wars, famines, earthquakes and plagues that are afflicting our world, I’d say, “Wow! Here they come!” The Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America—you name it, atrocities are taking place. Even in the United States of America, the home of the free, the hope of the huddled masses, the place where no one really has to go hungry, human-caused disaster is everywhere.
Jesus calls us to live with the intensity of last days while living our regular lives. He reminds us that we are not ultimately invested in this world, and he liberates us to work with courage, with hope. End times call for tall towers of hope. They call for a lightning-speed reordering of priorities. End times call for alertness, sharpness. They tingle with expectation.