In the week leading up to his crucifixion, Jesus looks briefly toward the future. A big lesson is that Christians should be watching and waiting expectantly for Jesus while serving him now here on earth.
Here is a link to the livestream video:
You are allowing us to live in troubling times. All around us we see war, disease, unrest. Our society seems right now to be falling apart.
Help us to find our strength and stability in you. Allow us to be a light during these dark days as we point people to you. Help us not to get sidetracked by the conflicts of our age. We know that instability is in some ways normal during these times in which we live.
Help us to be peacemakers while we look forward to the peace that will only come when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, returns.
34 But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
In a wider discussion about signs of the times and future things, Jesus turned his attention back to the present. He knew that our interest in the future is not always correlated with vigilance in the present. In fact, it can be used as a way to avoid it.
The person who is always looking just beyond the horizon can grow careless. It doesn’t have to happen, but when attention is drawn to the “What if … ?” or “Is it maybe …?” we can lose sight of our current responsibilities.
Character is inevitably developed in the present tense. What we do today ripples into tomorrow in more ways than we can imagine. Preparing for the future means doing something before the future gets here. This was Christ’s concern for his disciples and it remains his concern for us.
If we become lax in our walk with Christ, in our disciplines, or in the little details of our spiritual life, the future will be here before we know it. It will come quickly enough anyway, but it will seem even quicker for the one who is caught off guard.
Watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down …