Monday, December 3, 2012

signs of the end

Good morning friends,
In today's reading Jesus describes the signs of the end of history. He warns his disciples that they will be persecuted, but that their persecution will also be an opportunity to share the good news. The early church took that seriously. They did face persecution, but they used that and other opportunities to share about God's love in Christ. Through suffering and service, combined with fearless witness, the message spread and the church grew quickly. We don't face persecution for our faith here, but we can still use our challenges as opportunities today.

God bless,

Luke 21:5-19
5When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6“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.” 7They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And 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. 9“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.”

10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. 12“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. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.

16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls.


  1. Further to your "don't think so" comments in yesterday's sermon:

    Most of the Mayan calendar speculation floating around has only the most tenuous relationship with anything known about the Mayans. The Discovery Channel has created yet more confusion by airing a program that tries to tie every end-times prophecy ever made (religious or not, any religion) into one big pile that might just possibly point to now.

    A lot of what Jesus and others said about the end times could apply to our times, but the only thing new about that is our present ability to destroy ourselves, whether catastrophically or more gradually.

    We should definitely try to be as ready as we can for the end (personal or worldwide) while remaining aware that we're all incapable of much more than holding onto hope that the Lord will forgive our shortcomings through Christ's intercession. We need to strive to the best of our ability to hold onto that hope, which is often hard as our environment and civilization visibly deteriorate on an almost daily basis.

    Enough babble from me for the moment. Thanks for your sermon yesterday. Gonna shut up and listen for a while, or at least try to.

  2. Thanks, Gary,
    You can call it babble, but your analysis seems right on to me.