Dr. Martin Luther King used to preach that the Gospel both saves our souls and transforms our lives. It demands faith and faithful living, constant prayer—and constant work. When all we're doing is marking time until Jesus comes back to get us, we fail to live as Jesus taught—in love, with courage and compassion, in the world.
The ancient creeds tell us that Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end; and in the Eucharist, we are enjoined to proclaim the mysteries of faith, including that Christ will come again.
I believe that in some very real sense these words are true.
But what exactly does "Jesus will come again" mean and when will it happen?
That is a mystery.
God's time is not calendar time; it's cosmic time. Jesus told us only to be watchful and prepared—advice that goes to the heart of our daily spiritual journey—and more importantly, he said plenty of people would claim to know the whys and whens and wherefores of his return, but that nobody actually does.
Until Jesus comes again in glory, whatever that means, whenever that happens, we are supposed to be about our Father's business.
Maybe somebody should put up a billboard about that.