Friday, May 13, 2011

The Last Week

I live in a city that is a haven for people with news to share. Whether it is the protestors who stand outside the Convention Center across the street from the church or the people who line the fence outside the White House, my eyes regularly see people proclaiming a message.

For several weeks now, if I drive into the city at just the right time, my eyes see many trucks parked along the National Mall. Someone has spent a lot of money painting the trucks. The purpose of the trucks is to warn all who pass by that judgment day is coming. In fact, according to the trucks, judgment day is scheduled for next Saturday, May 21.

Now I believe that we live in the between times - that Jesus has come and is coming again. Yet, I also believe we should heed Jesus' words found in Matthew 24:36 where we are told that no one knows the time nor the hour when Jesus will return - not even the angels of heaven. I do not believe that Jesus is coming next Saturday to end the world and judge each one of us. I am quite sure that Jesus would tell us to spend our money feeding the poor and housing the homeless instead of buying big trucks that tell others how he is coming. Still, I have found myself wondering what I would do if this week were my last week. What is it that I would do if I had only one week to live?

Here is my list:

1) I'd spend time with my family. I'd visit my mother, my father, my sister, my niece, my grandparents, my extended family and all of my in-laws. I'd make sure each person knew how much I love them and treasure them.

2) I'd write checks. I would give away every single penny I have to organizations and ministries that are making a difference in this city and around the world.

3) I'd call someone who I had a disagreement with and apologize one more time for screwing up.

4) I'd hold Craig's hand all day and all night - never letting it go.

5) I'd spend time with the oldest adults in our church. I'd let them know how much they mean to me and how I cannot spend an hour with them without being reminded of what a gift it is to be a pastor.

6) I'd preach my heart out. I would say everything I have ever wanted to say from the pulpit on Sunday morning with the central message being, "God loves you. God loves you no matter what. God loves you and there is nothing you can do to keep God from loving you."

7) I'd go to the homeless shelters and spend time with the poor because I don't think we have to wait for Jesus to come back in order to see him today. I believe he is regularly found in the fringes - amongst the people who are most likely to be forgotten by we who have much.

8) I'd get a manicure, a pedicure and a massage.

9) I'd send as many thank-you notes and cards as I could simply to tell others that I care and am thankful for them.

10) I'd climb a mountain and put my feet into an ocean.

11) I'd confess my sins and praise God with my whole being because no matter what, even when this life comes to an end, I believe that my redeemer lives and because of Jesus' life, that I, too, will live eternally.

12) I'd buy a lot of tulips and place them in my home and on my desk.

What about you? What would you do if this were your last week?

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