The recent full blood moon brings to mind some of the prophecies written in the Bible about the signs of the end times. Joel 2:31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
Rev. 6:12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood.
As humans, we seem to have an insatiable thirst for any information we can get regarding when and how the world is going to end. One can’t help but wonder if the things going on in today’s world are pointing toward ‘the end’. Matthew 24:3-8 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Aren’t so many of these things happening in the world right now? Is this ‘it’?! Are these things consuming your thoughts? Do you feel helpless, maybe even hopeless? We are not to dwell on these things. It’s not something that’s within our control. See what Matthew 24: 36 says: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. No one knows the exact timing of the end of the world except God the Father…and I’m just fine with that! God doesn’t need me or anyone else saying ‘Don’t You think it’s time? Haven’t You had enough?’ God is in control. He has a plan. That’s all I need to know.
I really believe the devil is using all the end times rhetoric to distract us from what’s important – preparing ourselves and those we encounter for not ‘the end’ but rather ‘our end’.
42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
or Read Matthew 25 – the cautionary parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins.
What we should be doing now is preparing. How do we do that? It’s important to keep grounded in the Word, communicate with God through prayer, avail ourselves of the blessings received in the Sacraments, be in connection with fellow believers who help uphold us in our faith. And because we don’t know the ‘when’ of ‘our end’, we should feel a sense of urgency in sharing our reason for hope, our reason for peace, with everyone God puts in our path. 1 Peter 3:15b Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. Sure, it’s interesting to think about the ‘what ifs’, but dwelling on them is futile, and frankly, depressing as we watch our broken world spin out of control. Better to dwell on the ‘one thing needful’ – deepening your relationship with Christ. And soon, you won’t be able to contain the joy you have and the reason for your hope. May that joy and hope shift your focus from a fear-filled ‘end’ to a joy-filled anticipation of what lies at the end of your earthly journey. Who knows when that will be (I guess, God knows!), so it’s time to get to work. Time’s a tickin’!
Dawn Lubker, Ministry Coordinator