26Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: 27People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
28It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
30It will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind. 32Remember Lot’s wife! 33Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be grinding grain together: One will be taken and the other left.”
37“Where, Lord?” they asked.
Jesus answered, “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”
Grace and peace.
Here Jesus continues to talk about the Second coming. It is again clear that Jesus is speaking about the fact that although the Kingdom is here and now and present among us, there will be a time when Jesus comes and takes his people home. These verses about Jesus Second Coming are problematic because Jesus speaks in riddles about them and they are open to interpretation and misinterpretation. I can remember more than one occasion in my life when someone had prophesied that a specific day would be the day, in my reading of the Scriptures Jesus makes it very clear that we will not know the day or the hour but that we should live every day and every hour as if it were the hour that he is coming. But this should not be a frantic and panicked, fearful thing. We should live every moment in the presence of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God.
Every day is a gift – that is why it is called the present. Every day is an opportunity to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself. What Luke highlights for us is that our priorities must be to recognise Christ in our midst. We, like Moses who saw the burning bush( Exodus 3:2), must acknowledge that we are on Holy Land, like Jacob we must realise that God is in this place ( Gen 28:16) and that we must not be preoccupied with other things but do what that moment of divine appointment requires of us. Luke also makes it clear that we live in a community, we worship in a community but we will be judged as individuals. It won’t be enough to say to God I was an Anglican, I was a member! We will be measured by our fruit. In the New Living Translation Mathew, 3 8 reads “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” We are not saved by works but we are saved for works. In each moment of each day, we are to recognise that we are in the kingdom of God, surrounded by the world in darkness and that we are to shine a light into that darkness and reveal Christ’s love to the world.
The final statement made here is an interesting one: “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”
In South Africa, we have a Vulture tagging and tracking program that enables scientists to follow the movements of Vultures. Vultures tagged in the Kruger National Park have been seen in Addo Elephant Park and in the Northern Cape feeding at carcasses. They travel thousands of kilometres to feed. You only see Vultures at a feeding site they don’t congregate at any other place. They are intentional! They gather to do what they were created for and vultures play a critical role in the ecosystem.
We too are to be intentional! We must gather to do what we were created for – the service of God. Sharing his love and his mercy and his grace. Don’t be left behind -make today a day that you serve Christ, in all you do. Don’t look back, don’t ignore the opportunities to serve.
Be of good courage fight the good fight of faith that you may finish your course with joy.
Let us pray
Almighty father you have made of one blood the people of the earth and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near; grant the that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit on all flesh and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.