Daily Lectionary: Daniel 3:1-30; Revelation 20:1-15

O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! (From the Introit for the Last Sunday of the Church Year)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You’ve heard, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.” So also, it’s not the days in our lives but the life in our days. Only God knows when our days will end but He will enliven every one of them with His presence and His peace. He fills them with opportunities for faithful service to Him and to neighbor.

When will the world end? When will my life cease? Why worry about questions you cannot answer? Instead, concern yourself with receiving God’s gifts and giving to those in need. The measure of your days isn’t how many you have but how you fulfill your vocation within them.

You know from the parable of the Good Samaritan who your neighbor is. Christ and Paul tell you to love your enemy as you love family and friends. You know just by looking around that you live in a world filled with people in need and you know through Scripture and by taking stock of yourself just how well God has equipped you to meet these needs because Christ, as the perfect Good Samaritan, has provided for all of our needs in abundance.

Few people save those sentenced to death know exactly when they’ll draw their final breath. Some terminally ill people have a pretty good idea, but even then the exact time is unsure until it’s upon them. Most aren’t forced to look at a target time and date but instead are called to be constantly ready. Jesus is the exception. He came knowing exactly when He would draw His final death. He departed knowing that He’d filled every day being about His Father’s business. When He said, “It is finished,” it meant that He’d accomplished everything necessary to our salvation.

We pray that when our time comes to say, “It is finished,” we’ll die knowing that we’ve lived and loved to our utmost and that whatever was incomplete in our days was already completed in the Lord’s life, suffering, and death. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Walter Snyder

No saint on earth lives life to self alone Or dies alone, for we with Christ are one. So if we live, for Christ alone we live, And if we die, to Christ our dying give. In living and in dying this confess: We are the Lord’s, safe in God’s faithfulness. (No Saint on Earth Lives Life to Self Alone, LSB 747:1)

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