Wednesday, March 27, 2013

persecution and witness

Good afternoon friends,
As a reminder, we don't have supper and scripture tonight, but we do have a potluck supper and worship tomorrow evening beginning at 6 in Christler Hall for Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday is one of my favorite days of the year because it shows us Jesus at his most human. I hope you'll be there for that service. 

In today's reading the crowd asks Jesus about the big buildings of the religious establishment and then about the end of the world. Jesus replies that we don't know when the end will come, but it will be dramatic. More than that, he warns his disciples that they can expect to be persecuted, but that even persecution is an opportunity to spread the good news of God's love. Historically, the church is most successful and faithful when we have the least amount of power. That means times of trouble are also opportunities to be embraced. That's a good word for us as we follow Jesus to the cross this week.

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.

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