Monday, January 14, 2013

End of an Era

This month marked the end of an era--the final day of the Mayan Calendar. To the ancient Mayans, I’m sure it was unfathomable that we would actually arrive at this moment. Maybe, since they couldn’t imagine anything beyond what they knew, that’s why they predicted the complete destruction of the planet. But then, it’s hard for any of us to imagine the end of anything in which we are immediately involved or fully vested. Every summer at camp or on mission trips, the students invariably have the “I can’t believe it’s only been a day”/”I feel like we’ve been here forever” conversations.

When we’re completely immersed in an activity, it’s hard to imagine or accept that it will eventually end. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said in the last few months, “It’s already (insert date here)? Where has the year gone?!” But years end, we come home from trips, and activities find their completion.

I have this picture in my head from Acts 1 of the disciples standing, staring up into heaven after Jesus, wondering what to do now, as if they hadn’t been told this moment was coming. It’s almost like being an ancient Mayan on December 22, 2012. The world didn’t end. Life goes on. And they can now either live life defined by an event that happened (or didn’t) in the past, or they can move forward into a new era, with a new and compelling vision, a single-minded purpose that compiles all that they had experienced and learned in the past and propels them into the unknown. Fortunately, messengers from God woke them from their wondering and reminded them that Jesus would return.

It’s the response of the disciples at this moment that really catches my attention today. With a new mission in life and the promise of the Master’s return, they turned right around, acted in obedience, and the world shook with the impact of their lives.

Most of us can quote Acts 1:8 at the drop of a hat. Here it is in case you can’t: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. It’s not like we don’t really know what to do. It’s not like we haven’t been told this moment was coming. The world has not ended. Life goes on.

And now, from this moment, we can live life defined by events in our past, or we can grab hold of this old and compelling vision, driven by a single-minded purpose that propels us into the unknown.

At the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. At the right time, He will return. How will we spend the mean time?

It’s the response of Jesus’ disciples at this moment that draws my attention today. With a new mission in life and the promise of the Master’s return, will we, like the 12, live our lives this year as the martures, Christ’s witnesses and representatives in the world? I can only imagine how Corsicana would be shaken by the impact of just a few who would turn right around and act in obedience today.


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