Isaiah 65:17-25; Isaiah 12; (Malachi 4:1-2a; Psalm 98;) 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
1 Samuel 1:4-20; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; (Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm 16;) Hebrews 10:11-14, (15-18), 19-25; Mark 13:1-8
Judges 4:1-7; Psalm 123; (Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18; Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12;) 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-30
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.