“But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. – Mark 13:24-27
“I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee…here at the end of all things.” So ends the amazing journey of Sam and Frodo to destroy the One Ring in the Return of the King. JRR Tolkien was a master story teller who created a world for us to explore. Apparently Tolkein was a Roman Catholic so he created a world that, although not overtly “religious”, was filled with allegory and metaphor that mirrored the Messiah.
We have come to the “end of all things” – the last water reference in the book of Mark. I have been “stuck” in this stretch of water for way too long. I started the book of Mark in August. It is time to shoot this last rapid and move on to the book of Luke.
This passage describes the “end of all things” when Jesus will come “in clouds with great power and glory.” It sounds like the second coming will be different that Jesus’ first arrival, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” No subtle reveal of a secret Kingdom here.
It sounds like the the second coming will be a collecting tour with Jesus doing the collecting of “his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens”. No escaping the event. Everyone will need to choose. I do find it interesting that Jesus in this coming will arrive “in clouds”. This is the form God took with the Israelites for much of the old testament.
I am not sure why God would choose to arrive in this form and way. Part of me would prefer the arrival of a gentle lamb to lead us home, but perhaps that is not what will be required to shake us loose from our snares here in this land of Oblivion, and our obsession with it. From all I have read about this time it will be a time of great confusion and calamity. I am sure there will be many tempting roads that would seem less difficult than the one God will be offering to the “elect”.
With the United States election just days away the people of the United States will choose new leaders. I will not wade into the election and political ideologies, but I think what God is saying here is that the choice we have as “elect” has nothing to do with a ephemeral election no matter who or what is on the ballot. The real choice is whether we believe and go all in for God in the end. Either way God wins in the end.
Prayer: God help us to choose You over all things of this world so that at the end of all things we will be counted with the elect.