Mark 13 24 – 32
Jesus said to his disciples. “Watch out. I’ve given you fair warning.
“Following those hard times, Sun will fade out, moon cloud over, Stars fall out of the sky, cosmic powers tremble.
“And then they’ll see the Son of Man enter in grand style, his Arrival filling the sky – no one will miss it! He’ll dispatch the angels; they will pull in the chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.
“Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too – these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.
“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father.”
We frequently hear the phrase, “the signs of the times”. This gospel deals with the signs of the end-times. Is there a certain tension between the description of these events (taken in part from the Book of Daniel) and the last verse which states that “about that day or hour no one knows…but only the Father”?
Some Christians have been led astray by becoming fixated on signs of various sorts and prophesying the imminent end of the world. It may be more prudent to expect the unexpected and simply be ready to welcome the Son of Man whenever he comes. In the meantime be consoled by Jesus’ words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”.