Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. Luke 17:20-24
Although it rains a good deal here in Sitka, we rarely hear thunder or see lightning. I love it when the sky lights up and growls, especially if I can watch it from a safe place. Lightning is so powerful and so beautiful as well as being very damaging and deadly. The amazing gifts of life are often glorious and dangerous at the same time.
The rulers of the synagogue were questioning Jesus. They wanted to trust him and didn't but wanted to play it safe. They thought they might get inside information from him to keep themselves safe. Jesus challenges them by sating they have no control over those times. They will come like lightning, like a fast moving storm. Loving God and others is the best preparation. It is the best preparation for all of life.
Today, I ask God to help me remember that my primary task is to love God and others. We can spend our lives being anxious and preparing for end times, whether ours or more global, or we can work for love while it is day. While storms and challenges may come may we trust God with our future and offer our lives in the service of others today.