December 6, 2016 – Expecting the Unexpectable
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matthew 24:36-39
Predicting the Unpredictable
Throughout Christian history there have been men and women who have boldly predicted the second coming of King Jesus. Wikipedia has a whole list of predictions dating back to the earliest days of the church. And just last year, many were sure that the four blood moons signified that Jesus’ coming was near. But nothing came of it.
I’ve always imagined God waiting for the one day no one believes Jesus will return. On that day, he’ll finally give his son the go-ahead.
Jesus was pretty plain with his disciples on this issue: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son.” And yet we keep trying to pin it down. We want access to knowledge that’s been denied to Jesus himself! How foolish are we?
Instead of giving a date, Jesus tells his disciples that his second coming will be “like the days of Noah.” Then, he gives them a list of common, ordinary things that people will be doing. In other words, we’ll never be able to figure out when it’s going to be because it will happen when no one is expecting – on an average Monday afternoon. Or maybe a Sunday morning. But whenever it is, no one will be expecting it.
Expecting the Unexpectable
But this is good news. If we knew the date Jesus was going to return (or the date of our own deaths, for that matter), how would it affect us? Wouldn’t it just cause us to procrastinate? Why seek God now, after all, if he won’t be returning for another 10 years? Or 1,000 years? Why witness today when I can put it off until tomorrow?
We put the things of God on the back burner enough. If we knew he wasn’t going to return for another 500 years, don’t you think we’d really start putting things off?
Jesus didn’t tell us when his Kingdom would come in its fullness because he wants for us to live expectantly. He wants us to keep our eyes open and our hearts excited. He wants us to be hopeful – ever looking forward to what he is preparing. And this is what Advent is all about – finding hope and expectation in the mundane. There’s nothing special about December. It’s just another month. And yet, when we live expectantly, each moment is infused with joy and hope.
This is one of the lessons that Advent teaches us: because Jesus is coming, every moment matters.
Let’s make the most of them.