The Bible talks about a last day where Jesus is going to come and judge the earth. It says that one day, right out of nowhere, the end will come. There are many who believe that Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher who may have resembled one of those Times Square open air evangelists holding a sign saying, “Repent, for the end is near!” Like you, I think they are likely crazy, no offense to any in our congregation who may share such zeal. Now, it isn’t the message that they are preaching that is out of tune, it is the method, and I don’t recall Jesus, Paul, or any other disciples saying “wear a sign and scare them into the kingdom.”
We all are called, however, to repent and be mindful of the day God will call us, judge us, and place us where we are to spend eternity. So what exactly is God’s requirement for the kingdom of God? What will make it so that we won’t have to dread that final day? And let us be sure, all of us will face a last day, whether it is “the final day” or the day we depart from this temporary vessel of flesh.
Simply put, we are called to repentance.
Repentance is the act of realizing you have been doing something wrong and then turning around. It is a 180 degree turn in the direction away from those things that harm us or interfere in our relationships with others and with God. We don’t have to get into specifics, we both deal with them daily, you and I both know what those things are. We come to church, we meet in Bible study, we attend prayer group, and we participate in community life so that, like those who attend A.A., we can help one another overcome “our stuff.”
This weeks message, on Sunday, from the Gospel of Mark chapter 13: 24-37 will be a reminder to be on watch for that final day. For as long as we are alive we have the opportunity to right our wrongs and to start living lives that reflect the life of Christ revealed to us in Scripture. It is not an easy road we are called to. It is a right road and the sooner we turn around from walking the broad path the quicker we will find ourselves walking that narrow road with our Lord. A path that we also walk with the community of believers who have admitted their brokenness and who have committed themselves to the path of wholeness.
And so we watch.
Waiting for the day of the Lord. Not with dread, not with fear, but with joy. Knowing that we have played our part by living a repentant life. Waiting for the day that God whispers in your ear the same way the Spirit whispered in Christ’s ear, “well done, good and faithful child.”