This is a pretty funky passage, no doubt about it. What with desolating sacrileges, violence, vultures and false messiahs, this whole passage is most unpleasant.
This whole section of Matthew is about waiting. Something most of us don’t do well. It is about what we are to be about in the mean time. That is where our keyword comes in. Serve.
I have been around long enough to see my fair share of false messiahs to hear false prophets claim that they know when the end of the world will be, they all have been wrong as Jesus said. While there will be suffering, and there will be trails the promise of God to the chosen ones. We are not left to deal with desolating sacraliges whatever they may be; the one true Messiah will come in the fullness of God’s time, not on our schedules.
So what do we do in the meantime? We look to Jesus example; we are to be about compassionate care and service to others in His name. In the name of Christ, we are called to love, to bless and to serve the world. The rest we can leave in God’s hands in whom we have a promise of life and salvation.