Being Ready

Tonight’s Bible study discussion was on Luke 12:32-40.

OK, so it looks like we got another one of those scary “end of the world” passages this week (insert famous REM song here).  Judging by the number of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye books on the market, I’d say there’s a lot of money to be made from other Christians’ eschatological anxiety.  Ironically, I think it was Jesus’ intention to reduce the anxiety of his followers in this particular section of teaching.

To be fair, there is a lot of talk about being ready for the Son of Man’s unexpected arrival.  Our group spent a lot of time brainstorming about what it means to “be ready” for the culmination of human history.  Some of us at St. James Mission embrace a more literal interpretation of the Second Coming.  Others of us prefer to speak more generally in terms of “facing our mortality”.  Either way, we shared a lot of common ground when it came to how we should prepare.

One person commented on how “being ready” consists of “walking the path” of “keeping yourself open” to compassion.  Here are some ways in which the members of our community are trying to do just that:

  • A combat veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is having trouble with his medication.  When a neighbor tries to help, he pulls out a gun and starts waving it around.  Rather than pressing charges, the neighbor stays with him through the recovery process and even helps him get more stable with his meds.
  • A passionate activist undergoes nonviolence training and gets arrested for acts of civil disobedience against an unjust system.
  • A Christian woman has Muslim neighbors downstairs.  When their teenage daughter runs away from home, she comes upstairs and asks her Christian friend to pray with her.

To me, these are signs of the times (in a good way).  Rather than foretelling the coming of doom and gloom, these vignettes indicate the presence of God in our midst during an age of conflict.

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