Reading: Luke 21:5-19
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’
They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
With Reformation Sunday still quite fresh in our minds, the strong, powerful words of Martin Luther’s hymn ring throughout our reading from Luke today. Much like Martin Luther, we struggle to grasp the meaning of life and sin and death. We live in this world where wars still rage and injustice and inequality still remain. In Luther’s words, “Though hordes of devils fill the land all threatening to devour us, we tremble not unmoved we stand, they cannot overpower us.” The evil and daily craziness of our world will not stand against God’s reign.
The reality is this is not an easy world to live in. It becomes more and more difficult to spread the love of Jesus in a world filled with so much destruction and hate. We are called to remain steadfast in our faith and endure all that will come our way. We are promised that God will give us the words and the wisdom needed to withstand any evil we face. We trust in that promise and cling to the hope of the resurrection knowing “God himself fights by our side.” Remain steadfast even when the world seeks to destroy all that we believe and strive to accomplish. Continue to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.
Heavenly Father, as we continue on in faith, help us to always remember that no matter the struggle we face, You are always with us and will give us all we need and more. We trust in Your promises to guide us and keep us steadfast as You walk with us each day.