Posts Tagged ‘thief in the night’

life deathJesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” [Luke 13:2-3]

I had to go back and read this verse in context. What was Jesus really saying here? And then I understood. He is reminding the people, again (and again) that the death of the body is one death, but the death of the spirit is far more serious. If the personal spirit is in relationship with the Holy Spirit, if the life force within is right with God, when the body dies, there is more.

Apparently, based on this scripture, death is not a reflection of one’s goodness or evil: death comes when it comes for other reasons. And “like a thief in the night,” [I Thess 5:2] we cannot know the time of death anymore than we can know the  time of Christ’s return. Most of us can’t even fathom an early death. Not really. Who expects a child to die in three days time? Who expects a sister to die in the lobby of a hotel in Europe? Who expects a husband to die in a car accident?

When I was in school, I remember how much I hated pop quizzes. You know why? Because I was a last minute studier. I’d pull all-nighters the day before a big test or when an assignment was due. But a pop quiz? That would show the truth of it. I wasn’t on top of my work. I wasn’t doing a little every day. I was a procrastinator.

But this technique doesn’t work so well in the things of God, in the things of the Spirit, in the things of becoming more Human (that is the real intent for human). That journey is outlined for us all in the scriptures and writings of the ones who have gone before us. What are we waiting for? Granted, if I follow the paradoxes (love your enemy, give and it will be given to you, etc.), and the surrendered lifestyle, I am promised that my life here and now will be better for it. But more importantly, it is the life within that really counts.

How many ways does Jesus (or really, any of the saints and Spirit-led) have to tell us that there is more to “life” than what we see, hear, feel, and touch?

Do you want more? Are you thirsting for more of that promise? I am.

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I am grateful that I have never had my house broken into. But I know people: my brother’s place was wiped out of all electronics, DVDs, bicycle, etc. A colleague from work lost all of her jewelry to a thief in the night. And one family had all of their children’s gifts stolen from under the tree on Christmas Eve.

I Thessalonians 5:2, 4
. . . for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. . . . But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

I have been told that it feels like a rape of one’s life, to experience this kind of invasion. It’s usually inexplicable, and unlike TV, where Monk comes in and floats his hands around to figure out why and who and when, there is rarely recovery of one’s things or capture of the thieves.

Paul writes that the coming of Christ, the total renewal of Spirit, and the “end of the age,” will come when least expected by most people. And yet, as believers, we are not to be surprised. I had never picked up on that before; I focused on the unexpected thief and figured we were all in the dark. Not so.

Unfortunately, others have taken this piece of information as an encouragement to set the date and time. Over the years, there have been a number of end time dates announced and yet, the dates have come and gone, and we’re all still here. Things are heating up a bit now and both believers and non-believers are predicting cataclysmic events in 2012. Some base their predictions on complex studies of the prophetic literature and calendar mathematics, while others are enamored of the Mayan calendar and the implications of its final year.

I still believe we “see through a glass darkly” and we will not understand the fullness of the “return of Christ” until it happens. But I will hold to this: as the Holy Spirit within me manifests more each day, as the Light within me finds open avenues to shine out, then this Coming may indeed be anticipated.

But for now, I’ll just wait.

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