Prayer for the day
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my meditation. Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I make my prayer to you.
Scripture for the day
Guilt, doom, and gloom. Those three words are rarely heard together (at least the guilt part), but Jesus is clear about one thing in the passage today: the end is coming. No one knows (or knew) when, or how long it would take, but that was one thing that was very clear: the end is coming, so be ready for it.
The newspapers were rife with stories about the end of the world recently, and none of it came to pass. However, what i heard in the news was a lot of fear-mongering, some hedonism, but very little of the point: get ready. Readiness is not something we seem built for. Things constantly catch us unawares. Some of that is inevitable, but with the end of all things, it seems like we’ve had plenty of warning: the proper response is not to try and figure out when the end will come, but to live in such a way that if the end comes today or in 5,000 years, we’ll be ready.
The Israelites were taught about readiness as well. God’s instructions to Moses have a regular element of purity about them, a desire to constantly be pure and purifying oneself at the moment instead of waiting for a better time. There was an understanding that the guilt they incurred was not a good thing, and that sin and guilt were things God wanted the Israelites to avoid, and if they could not, to be rid of quickly. It shows an awareness both of the nature of sin and guilt and an awareness of the fallenness of humanity. God gave this law to the Israelites as a measure of His grace to them, allowing them to be absolved of sin and guilt and move toward the readiness of conversing with and serving a holy God.
It’s fun to speculate about the end. It’s necessary, however, to seek purity. It’s not popular these days, but God asks that we care for the soul He’s given us, that we approach Him in an attitude of seeking right relationship, and to accept the forgiveness He offers.