As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray." ~ Matthew 24:1-5
It isn't always super helpful to read the Apocalyptic texts in scripture. It especially often sounds disconcerting hearing end times talk coming out of Jesus' mouth.
One thing that is helpful for me to remember about anything related to "apocalypse" talk is that we all have little apocalypses all throughout our lives. End times come not always just at the final end, but at ends of periods or moments in our lives.
As we transition from one stage of life to the next, it can often feel apocalyptic and unsettling. Disorienting. Scary.
Difficult sometimes to imagine resettling or reorienting ourselves.
And yet that is what we are called to do.
It is important to remember that in those disorienting moments we are often most vulnerable to "false prophets" or "false messiahs:" those in our lives who we might go to for guidance, but who may not actually have our best interests at heart. And that is when we would do well to ask ourselves how our true messiah would guide us.
How would the crucified Christ move us through unsettling times in our lives to a new creation?
How can disorienting, apocalyptic times challenge us to grow outside of ourselves?
We need not get overly caught up in Apocalyptic literature in seeing it as relating simply to the end of the world.
It might instead guide us in whatever apocalypse is happening right now in your life. In this moment.
Who is a true prophet you can turn to right now if that is where you find yourself?
Lord of all time, help me discern true prophets in my life to guide me through unsettling times. Amen.