Waiting for the End
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7).
While we may be hoping for the “end” of a world-upending pandemic, the apostle Peter diverts our gaze toward the “end of all things.” Sounds rather disruptive to daily living, doesn’t it? He says, “The end of all things is at hand.” All the things to which we endear ourselves now are squeezed, downward pressed under the gravity of an enduring reality to be revealed. The Gospel is preached to the nations; the end comes. It is just that powerfully simple. The end, the goal, the consummation of the world’s existence and history, the divinely foreseen and ordained completion of everything is at hand.
Oh, how we struggle with that! That the finish line would approach, that God would be glorified through Christ into eternity — what ought to be, above everything else, the cause of our great rejoicing — gives way to fearful thoughts and fitful anxieties. It seems that life itself is ebbing away all too soon — opportunities lost, the end imminent. We anesthetize ourselves against such unease in our busy-ness, our diversions, our addictions. Merely wearily “living it out” may be a symptom that we’ve lost a love for genuine life, the only true and eternal life as it derives from the Word of God in Christ.
On the other hand, born of this Word, the self-control and sober-mindedness of the baptized faithful give rise to a joyful freedom — now on vivid display in unfettered, impactful vocations accompanied by fervent prayer in the name of Jesus. Consider the amazing breadth of activities undertaken by your determined fellow saints here and around the world, even as described so briefly, with all glory and thanks to God, in this issue of Lutherans Engage the World. Our beloved co-workers have St. Peter’s “end” firmly in mind!
In His hands,
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod