In November our Church takes us to the end of time. It makes sense. It’s gloomy out. Leaves are falling. Plants are dying. Cold rain is falling. It gets dark out early. Freezing temperatures are coming. Summer warmth and cheer is gone and forgotten. We’re naturally led to think about our death – thank you, Halloween decorations. And that leads us to think about the end of all things.
That’s what Jesus is talking about in this Gospel, historically appointed for yesterday, Friday after Trinity XXIV. He tells us something we often don’t understand. The end of the world won’t be expected. It won’t be as if everything is climaxing to a point. It will happen all of a sudden. People will be eating and drinking just like they always do. People might get married a second before it happens. Someone might die right before it too. People will be working their daily jobs. It might even be while an LWML is having their rally eating lunch or distributing mission monies. He will come out of nowhere.
Therefore stay awake. Keep watching for His return. Don’t act like He’s not coming. Know He is, realize He sees what you’re doing, and try not to do what you know is evil. Better yet, stir up your will so that you may plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works.
How can you do that? After all, the sinful heart doesn’t want to be stirred up to do good. It wants to relax and do nothing unless it pleases “me, myself, and I.” It wants to rest on its laurels when there’s work to be done and ignore anything God commands. It loves rewards, but doesn’t want to do anything to get them, and doesn’t want God’s rewards anyway. Its focus is pleasing self and no one else. It would bring judgment on itself faster than you can say “fall.”
You need The Lord to stir up your heart. He stirred it up when He baptized you. He continues to speak to you in His Word to stir you up. You hear His encouragement, “Stay awake,” and His Word works. You hear Him say, “Follow Me,” and you follow Him wherever He leads. You hear Him say, “Disciple all nations” and you provide for Gospel-preaching throughout the world.
Stir up your heart? Yes, He will, for He died for you. He died to forgive you. He died to remake you, the sinner, into you the saint who does what God desires. So He will stir up your heart, stir it up with His Word and Sacrament. Wake up! Stay awake! Be in His Word, or else you’ll fall asleep.
Therefore let us watch and pray, Knowing He will hear us As we see from day to day Dangers ever near us, And the end Doth impend – Our redemption neareth When The Lord appeareth.