“They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built……”  Luke 17:26

“Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”  Luke 17:30

Jesus Christ was describing the time when He is revealed to the entire world as the indisputable, Son of God.  We refer to it as the second coming.  Sounds fairly similar to the day in day out tasks that we do.  We go to work (we plant, we build).  We provide for ourselves or our family (we buy and we sell).  We take part in recreation (we eat and we drink).  Given the additional complexities of our modern life we could add quite a few more varied descriptions.  In describing people’s daily comings and goings,  Jesus was making the illustration that such was happening in the time of Noah and in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  He says people were going about their daily lives not much noticing the ark, not particularly listening to the pleadings of Lot.  Then Noah closed the door and Lot left town.  And the destruction came.

And why did the destruction come?  Because as people were going about their daily lives, they had no thought of or interaction with, their Heavenly Father.  So those tasks became evil.  They bought and they sold, but normally it was through cheating, swindling and stealing.  They planted and then bowed down to, sometimes even sacrificing their children, to human made gods, worshiping and praying to them for prosperity and good fortune.  They ate and they drank with not one thought for their fellow person, who was in need and after they ate and drank too much; they did unspeakably perverse things.  Who is this God who would dare to try to keep us from our fun, from our taking advantage of our brothers and sisters, from living the lives that we want to live at the expense of all others.

Today, we live our lives.  I often hear from those who don’t believe about how much I have to “give up”, to follow Jesus.  They ask me, sometimes mockingly so, “So when you’re on your death bed and Jesus hasn’t come and you think back on all the things you could have done, all the fun you could have had, won’t you be mad?”  And understand to the people of this world, who follow the one with power in this world, they have a point.  They get to have the fun that comes abusing things that come from bottles, needles, pills or smoke.  Their highest love comes from an act that is done with another body in the dark, sometimes with strangers, always for their selfish pleasure.  They experience the thrill of the hunt to have their perfect body and to find only those others who meet their standard; probably eventually discarding them after they get tired of them.  They get to have the excitement of owning things and wanting ever bigger, brighter things.  They get the satisfaction of wining at all costs, gloating over those whom they probably cheated to defeat.  Yes sir, I guess I’m missing out on a lot.

Jesus Christ wants us to live a different way.  Yes He wants us to “give up”  many of those other things.  He tells us we can have a life of love, where it is not what we own, who we know, how much we make, where we live, what we wear or any of those other artificial measurements.  It is about the warmth of our heart, the depth of our feeling, the generosity of our spirit.  He offers us a life of peace.  The peace comes from not trying to gain our own power but to rely on His Power, which is greater than all earthly kingdoms or resources combined.  He offers us a life of beauty.  The beauty in the loving eyes of a child, the awesome vista of the snowcapped mountains, and the serenity of seaside beach.

I do work.  I do things like type out this blog.  I teach classes and I write books.  I do eat and I do drink.  I’ve been known to go to a party.  I play sports.  I play the guitar (well with that last one, some who listen might question).  I am married and I do have a family.  So many of those things Christ described, on the surface it would seem that I do.  However, I don’t do them in spite of God, or as if God has no part in them.  God has given me the talent to do them and I try to do them in a way that tries to use them for His Glory.  At times, I fail.  I sin.  And God in His Mercy forgives me.  I do not know when Jesus Christ will come again.  I truly believe that no man will ever be able to divine when that comes.  What I do know is what I pray will happen.  I will find myself before the throne of Christ.  I don’t know if I will be able to look upon His Glory, but He will look down upon me.  It is my most fervent prayer that Jesus will say, Doug, I know you, come in and reside with Me.  My prayer is that my life, my faith, His Mercy, His Love, His Sacrifice may bring that about.  I can not do it on my own; but I do have a part to play.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, this life is filled with so many things.  We freely admit that we can be distracted by those things from the life that You want for us.  We ask You, in Your Mercy, to forgive us when we stray.  We ask that, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, that we may see these things, and this life as a way to learn about You; help to bring about Your Will and Glorify Your Most Holy Name.  In the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen