On this last day of a passing year, Catholic monk Thomas Merton writes to remind you that not only this year, but all of time and this world is quickly passing away. According to God’s Word, Jesus’ birth into the world marked the beginning of the end times. The Father has set a definite time and day when Jesus will return to bring peace and judgment to his world. As you read through today’s essay, think of the ways God has changed your heart to prepare you for the day this world ends and his eternal Kingdom is established on earth.
- Mark 1:14-15
- Watch for the Light, 267-279
- What is unique and powerful about the news that God’s Son has been born into the world? How is this news different and greater than the constant stream of loud and dramatic headlines that shout for your attention on a daily basis?
- Merton wrote, “We live in the time of no room, which is the time of the end. The time when everyone is obsessed with lack of time, lack of space, with saving time, conquering space…” (272). As the end of this Advent and Christmas season is drawing nearer, what steps will you take to ensure your lifestyle and your schedule will have protected room for the voice of the Savior?
For those of us who have committed our lives to Jesus, the time of the end is not merely a time of fear, chaos, and confusion – it is a time of inexpressible joy! As Merton writes, “It is the time to ‘lift up your heads for your redemption is at hand.’ It is the time when the promise will be manifestly fulfilled, and no longer kept secret from anyone. It is the time for the joy that is given not as the world gives, and that no man can take away” (277). In your time of prayer today, share your joy and eager anticipation of Christ’s return with God, telling him of your desire to be with him forever. Pray also that the Lord would reveal to you if there are trappings of this world that your heart is clinging to, holding you back from looking with full joy at the promised freedom of Christ’s return.