Can you believe it? We have only 21 days! That's it? Only 21 shopping days, 21 working days, 21 days of fun and frivolity.
Wait a minute...don't you mean 25 days? It is 25 days till Christmas. That is true. Today is Nov. 30th which means tomorrow we begin December with 25 days till Christmas. But I was talked about 21 days till the end of the world. According to the Mayan calendar, the world ends on Dec. 21, 2012. (Unless you take into account leap years and then the world would have already ended but that is another story.)
So I have a question. If the world is going to end on Dec. 21st, why should I go to work today? Why should I pay my bills? Why should I obey the law? Why should I live a moral life? Why should I worry about any of the things that guide me through my days? There are only 21 more days until the world ends and I might as well live it up. I might as well quit taking my heart medicine. And the really big one - I might as well not buy any Christmas presents.
Why? Because the world will not end on Dec. 21st (unless the Lord decides for it to end then and then, we won't have any warning!). We are told in this last Sunday's Gospel (were you there to hear it?), "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mark 13:32 ESV) That means the Mayans didn't know either.
What does this mean? (A good Lutheran question.) It means that we live each day as the Lord would have us live it - going about the things as life, all in service to Him. At the same time, we watch and wait, longing for Him to return but going about our days as though He isn't coming back at the moment. We plant the tree. We buy the Christmas presents. We go to work. We take the medicine. We live the moral life. Why? Because that is how the Lord would have us live each day. We live for Christ each and every day, living as He would have us live. And when He comes (surprise!), He will take us to be with Him in heaven. Why will He take us? Not because of the way we are living but because of the condition of our hearts. Salvation comes through faith in Him alone! The life we live is a reflection, the fruit, of that faith.
So live today - for Christ! Live as though it is your last day on earth while at the same time live as though you have another day ahead of you. That is the tension of being a Christian. We long for Christ to return. We long to enter into heaven to spend eternity with Him. Yet we live each day as a faithful Christian, caring for the environment, for our fellow man, for our families and for ourselves.
21 days till the end of the world? Your guess is as good as mine. As for me and my house, during these next 21 days (and beyond), we will follow and serve the Lord.