Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Year End Sermon

Today is the last Wednesday of 2012 and, according to certain prophecy experts; this should not happen because the world just ended last December 21. Both soothsayers and science-fiction scribes have been predicting the end of the world in 2012 based on their interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar. The Mayan civilization was extremely advanced in mathematics, engineering and astronomy. They also had an incredible understanding of time and space and used various calendars to track time in linear progressions within cycles. The Great Cycle of the Long Count calendar equates to 5,125 years. The current Great Cycle is due to be completed on the winter solstice of 2012, December 21. Many have interpreted the end of the Great Cycle as the end of the world. You may have even seen the blockbuster movie a couple of years ago, titled 2012, billed as an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to nearly all life on earth.

But let’s suspend disbelief for just a moment. What if Jesus really did return last December 21? What if that was really your last day on earth? Would you live your life differently? Would people notice the changes? What alterations would this knowledge have on your stress levels? Your work schedule? Your mood swings? Your temper? Would you sleep better? Would you see sunsets differently?

Bottom-line, we don’t know when Christ will come and we don’t know when we will take our last breath. So as we stand at the threshold of a brand-new year, what are you living for? How can we make the most of the next 365 days. There is a passage of Scripture that I believe can be of help to us as we look forward to the coming year—if we’ll listen to it, that is. The passage is found in the book of James, written by Christ’s younger brother. Here’s what it says:

Pay attention to this! You’re saying, “Today or tomorrow we will go into some city, stay there a year, conduct business, and make money.” You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and carry out our plans.” (James 4:13-15 GWT). James gets right to the point, doesn’t he? In this brief passage I see three lessons, codified by three simple verbs that are worth remembering as we embark on 2012. The first of those lessons is codified by the verb surrender.