In the Meantime

This sign is from what used to be called  It is a fake sign, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that there will be at least one church in the country with this exact language on their church sign this Sunday.

Over and over again, as I’ve read commentaries on the Gospel lesson for this Sunday, writers have argued that in Luke’s version of Jesus’ apocalyptic teaching, Jesus is very intentionally moving the conversation away from the disciples’ original question, “Teacher, when will all of this take place?”  In what follows, Jesus shares with them signs of what will be, but the import is not on when or how.  Instead, these various smart people argue, Jesus is teaching his disciples how they should live in the meantime.  Stand up!  Raise your heads!  Be sober!  Don’t be self-absorbed!  Be alert!  Be at prayer!’

Simply put, be faithful to the work of the kingdom and God will take care of the rest.

This challenge from Jesus is perhaps nowhere more clear than in a story relayed on the Center for Excellence in Preaching website:

According to a story that Os Guinness tells, two hundred twenty years ago the Connecticut House of Representatives was in session on a bright day in May, and the delegates were able to do their work by natural light. But then something happened that nobody expected. Right in the middle of debate, the day turned to night. Clouds obliterated the sun, and everything turned to darkness. Some legislators thought it was the Second Coming. So a clamor arose. People wanted to adjourn. People wanted to pray. People wanted to prepare for the coming of the Lord. But the speaker of the House had a different idea. He was a Christian believer, and he rose to the occasion with good logic and good faith. We are all upset by the darkness, he said, and some of us are afraid. But, “the Day of the Lord is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. And if the Lord is returning, I, for one, choose to be found doing my duty. “I therefore ask that candles be brought.” And men who expected Jesus went back to their desks and resumed their debate.


One thought on “In the Meantime

  1. Better to light candles than to curse or fear the darkness……..

    This is a great word, Steve – exhorting us to a higher level of faith in God to take care of what will happen, come what may…..we need to be about our work, what God has called us to do, and let the rest be in God’s province.

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