13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
In my experience, if you are sitting around having a nice cup of coffee and the conversation shifts to talking about “the End Times.” one of two things happens. Either the conversation gets every animated, even a little heated or the conversation ends abruptly with a nervous coughing and shifting of chairs.
It’s a complicated subject – always has been.
Still, I like to talk about such cosmic things, at least now and then, in order to help people ponder their lives – and where they might be going – from , well, a cosmic perspective.
I don’t have the answers to some of the questions such discussions raise. No one does. Jesus says, “No one knows the day or the hour…” when God’s plan will be fully expressed and experienced.
Still, if we remember that we are NOT the center of the universe, that our choices need to be put in some greater context, that God IS the Creator of the universe, well, I think – at the very least it will help us take ourselves a whole lot less seriously.
And, it will help us – hopefully – take God a whole lot more seriously.