I love the comedian Frank Caliendo. He does great impersonations of everyone from former football TV broadcaster John Madden to President Bush and everyone in between. But one voice he does is a faceless narrating voice from past cartoons and superhero TV shows that would often transition from one scene to another with the phrase “Meanwhile…”. Caliendo places the voice into some of his bits to humorously transition from one joke to the next. It is priceless! I wonder if that voice is heard in heaven as they are having the party of a lifetime while the rest of us are scraping out a life. Meanwhile, back on planet earth…
In Sunday’s Gospel as well as these weeks before Advent, the Church finds itself considering what will be coming next – at the end of time. There is great concern for the last days and how we will know that it is upon us. And yet, I here God saying (in Frank Caliendo’s impersonated voice) “Meanwhile, back on planet earth…” As important as it is to understand what those end times will be I hear Jesus telling us what will happen in the meantime. He challenges us to recognize the ways in which we are being called each day through the difficulties of daily life to prepare ourselves and not be deceived. That, it seems, is tougher than knowing when the end is near.
Meanwhile, back at Duke we see the end of the semester on the horizon and the tumultuous storms of preparing for exams loom large. And yet, must we make every day some preparation for the awful? Can’t we make today a celebration of God’s presence in our lives now, in the meantime, so that when he comes at the end we will be all the more ready to know his voice and not the voices of the impersonators who may sound like God, but who are fakes (and aren’t as funny as Frank Caliendo).
Have a great week and know that you are always welcome in my office, or to stop me on campus!