Remember those cartoons, the one where the guy is carrying around a sign saying, "The End is Near"?
There's always some kind of joke. Like the guy is standing at the end of a pier. Or the guy with the sign is visiting the doctor, who tells him not to worry he just has a cold. Or there's a foreclosure sign on the church building.
And then there are the people who really do carry around signs saying the end is near. Sometimes the sign also says "Repent."
The thing is, people have been saying that the end was near for pretty much forever. I remember The Thief in the Night movie series that came out when I was about 13. I was sure that the rapture was happening any way, and I was kind of bummed. I really wanted to get married first. After that I hoped that God would wait so I could have kids. And then I hoped God would wait so I could see them grow up.
After a while we stopped looking for Jesus to come back because, well, he didn't. And then the Left Behind books came out and people started looking for him again. There's nothing new under the sun.
Here is Peter, two thousand years ago, announcing in his letter: The end is near.
And I'm not making fun of him, really I'm not. The thing is, we have a way different sense of time than God.
And I want to affirm Peter's admonition that we need to be watchful. We need to be clear minded and self-controlled so that we can be pray. I know when I was stuck in the caves, I really had a hard time praying.
We need to love deeply.
To offer hospitality without grumbling.
To use our spiritual gifts.
To serve with God's strength.
We need to make the most of every opportunity.
I know, that was from Colossians 4:2-6. And Ephesians 5:15-16.
Don't you love the way the Bible opens up as we read more and more of it?