Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.
Mark 13:33 (ASB)
This passage refers to the return of Christ. Many predictions have been made in my lifetime about when "that day" will be, but scripture tells us that "of that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Mark 13:32)
A map of the future would be a hindrance, not a help, to faith. While on earth, Jesus lived by faith, and obedience was the hallmark of his ministry. So, what does it mean for us to "keep watch" while waiting for the second coming of the Son of Man?
How do we really stay alert? It obviously isn't a matter of stopping and staring up into the sky, though that is what the disciples did when Jesus ascended into heaven. But the angels told them, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)
Being alert while we wait means actively fulfilling the commandments Jesus left us with, to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves. Though the second coming of Christ may not be in our daily thoughts and prayers, if we are zealous in our ministry, striving to fulfill God's purpose in our lives, we will be ready when God's promised day comes.
Prayer for Today
O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,
Guide us to justice, truth, and love, delivered from our selfish schemes.
May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release,
Till by God's grace our warring world shall see Christ's promised reign of peace. Amen.