During the Advent season we enjoy the rhythm of looking ahead towards Christ’s return. I have learned to love this season and I look forward to it each year. When we talk about the return of Jesus it invariably sparks some conversation about those who claim to ‘prophesy’ the very moment of that return. This has turned into a thriving market in the Christian marketplace. It seems that many of us really love reading or watching as so-called prophets or experts tell us when this world will come to an end.
Honestly, we have such explicit clarity on these things. The scriptures do include ideas that will mark the final stages of life before the return of Jesus. Yet it is also crystal clear that no one will know the moment or expect the timing of Christ’s return (Mt 24:36). Although not the purpose of this writing today, we should understand that those who claim to know or predict the end have placed themselves firmly in the ‘false teacher’ category as they are attempting to do exactly what the Bible indicates cannot be done. This should create a considerable concern in us when we hear these things.
When we read the Bible, it teaches us that our ignorance regarding the return of Christ is purposeful. God intended this to be an unknown and for that unknown to impact our daily lives.
You may not be the same expert procrastinator that I am… surely not… but you have engaged in your fair share of procrastination as well, I assume. Procrastination might be the single most appropriate word to describe anything that I have done under the umbrella of education. In graduate school I was aware months and months in advance of significant writing projects. On top of that, they were the kind of writing projects that really did demand a TON of time.
Every single time, without fail, I said things were going to be different… I just knew that each year was going to be the year that procrastination no longer characterized my routine. The truth is that nothing ever changed. I waited until the latest possible time to start writing every single time. This demanded a crazy and stressful season of cramming in a huge amount of work while neglecting everything else.
I will just speak for myself here… if I knew when Christ was going to return I would treat it like every test, paper, or project I have ever completed. The temptation to live far from Christ today and ‘cram’ in my relationship with Him at the last minute would be overwhelming.
Since I do not have the option to procrastinate in my spiritual life, I have found the joys of walking in a daily intimate relationship with Him. The unknown of His return is a graceful gift leading to the initiation and continuation of our gospel transformation.
Instead of seeing His return as a mystery to be solved, what if we saw the mystery as a gift ushering us into the joys of walking deeply with Him today?