Matthew 24:36 (Jesus said) “But about that day and hour (when the Son of Man returns) no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
When will the day of the Lord, the day of judgement, be upon us? No one knows, not even Jesus. What’s clear from this passage is that we will be taken by surprise (v.38-39). We will not see it coming, so we must always be ready.
A mentor of mine once said the things that throw us for a loop in life tend not to be the things we worry about, but things we never see coming. Like many of you I remember the horror of 9/11 which no one expected. Watching the twin towers in NYC fall on live TV was like a gut punch to our nation and world. This massive effort to contain the spread of corona virus feels very similar to me.
The fallout from the need for social distancing is beginning to take a toll. Both my college age daughters came by the house yesterday – newly out of work. One works at a restaurant the other for an after-school program. Both are being shut down for the time being so they wonder how they’re going to pay their bills. At least they don’t have any dependents to provide for. And they have their parents to help them get through this, which is more than many out-of-work people can say.
As we were talking yesterday I realized this is the first time either of them have experienced this kind of economic adversity, so it’s particularly hard for them. This is not the case for me and Jana. We’ve lived long enough to have dealt with economic adversity before, so we are confident this too shall pass despite all the questions with no answers right now.
The Lord has brought us through tough times before and will not fail us now.
So when I read Jesus’ teaching to be ready, right now I interpret that to mean we older adults need to be ready to encourage those younger and more inexperienced than we are. We’ve been through some stuff before and survived it. We need to bear witness to the faithfulness of God, to tell our stories to younger generations. I realize this is not the focus of the text, but it’s what’s striking me as I read scripture this morning.
Lord let it be so. Amen.