Tuesday, February 06, 2007

No one knows the day or the hour... but maybe the year?

In today's New Testament reading, Jesus talks about the timing of the end of the age:
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Matthew 24.36
Throughout history, and particularly in the past century, people have tried to figure out when this would happen. Recently, I heard on the radio someone who said that we may not know the day or the hour, but that he's got an idea about the year. It might be 2011, he says, based on the idea that it would be 7000 years after the flood. That in turn was based on the verse saying "a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day" to the Lord, and something about a week. Oh, and that the flood happened around 4990 BC.

The logic is questionable at best, and the interpretation shady, but I can hardly blame the guy for trying to figure it out. Wouldn't we all like to know?

But Jesus doesn't seem very interested in telling us when. Instead he tells us what we need to be doing.
"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.
Matthew 24.45-49
We need to be taking care of those we're responsible for. And I just noticed something: Jesus talks about someone "put in charge of the servants". He's talking to people in leadership here. Looking back to the beginning of the chapter, in verse 3 we read that the disciples came to him privately to ask him about these things, particularly the timing.

Does that mean that you're off the hook if you don't have responsibilities? Or that I am? H'm... well, I think we all have responsibilities, spheres of influence, people we should be helping and serving, if not literally feeding.

And speaking of feeding, it's my turn to chop and cook vegetables tonight. Better keep at it!

posted 2/7, written 2/6

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