What would you do if the world were to end tomorrow?

Luther was asked this question and his response was striking and quite instructive. He said, “I would plant a tree and pay my taxes.” In Luther’s view the imminent second coming should incite faithfulness in ordinary tasks not the pursuit of extraordinary actions. Luther understood that the vocation of the Christian man and woman was primarily filled with normal responsibilities. The Christian man is called to be faithful in his job, in his family, and in his church. The woman is called to be faithful in the home (if married and with children), and in the church. We are creatures with limited ability, limited influence, and limited stewardship. We are not called to operate outside the scope of our creatureliness and biblical responsibility. We are to honor Christ, share Christ, and live for Christ in and through all of these various callings. So if the Lord returns and finds you cooking a meal for your family, working diligently at your job, mowing the lawn, changing a diaper, playing with your kids, eating a meal with your family, or sleeping—be encouraged—he will be pleased at your faithfulness in the tasks he has given.

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