Daily Reflection – 11/22/2022
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”(Luke 21:5-11)
The words of Jesus were startling to those around him. The temple of Jerusalem was not only immense and not only breathtaking in its opulence but it stood as a reminder of their relationship with God. The destruction of the Temple foretold change that was soul shattering.
So too with change in our lives.
The world seems to be moving at an accelerated pace. All that we thought we knew seems challenged. The temples of our lives seemed destined to tumble and perhaps be destroyed.
What do we do in the face of the world in constant change where right seems wrong and wrong seems right?
We hold on to the bedrocks of our faith.
The absolute foundational rock of our faith is Jesus Christ. In him lies the ultimate example of how we handle change. In how we move forward with resolution and hope.
Jesus willingly set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet betrayal, rejection and death on the cross. But it was that death that brought true freedom, peace and victory over the powers of sin, evil and death.
God reminds us that a future judgment and outcome awaits every individual who has lived on earth. The reward for doing what is right and pleasing to God and the penalty for sinful rebellion and rejection of God are not always experienced in the present life but they will come on the day of final judgment.
That truth will never change.
Jesus also said: “I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved.”
Knowing that should mean that each of us needs to stop and examine our daily entry through that door.
Never mind the noise around us. Never mind the drama that surrounds us. Never mind the whispers of those that seek to turn us away from Him.
Look at the door.
Choose your life’s events according to the words of Jesus Christ as written in scripture. Allow those words to move from a page and become a cloak around your shoulders. Wrap that cloak tightly around you in times of uncertainty, in times of stress, in times of fear.
Wear that cloak in times of joy. Let it heighten your appreciation of blessings.
His words alive in our lives are all that we need.
In Luke 21:15-19, Jesus assures his listeners and disciples: “For I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair on your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls” (Luke 21:15-19).
He was assuring and strengthening them and us by saying, “I’ve set my table right in the midst of all of this. It’s in these places of fear and loss and confusion and pain that I set my table and I am a guest among you.”
In power and poverty and privilege and in pain, even as we endure persecution and the pain and complexity of our modern world, these are the places where Jesus sets his table, where he grants us the words and wisdom of a Kingdom vision, that welcomes our neighbors and even our enemies–where Jesus comes to be our welcomed guest.
God extends grace and mercy to all who will heed his call and his warning. Do not pass up, even for one day, God’s invitation of grace and mercy to seek first his kingdom of righteousness and peace. This day may be our only chance before that final day comes.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, your grace and mercy abound even in the midst of trails and difficulties. Help me to seek your kingdom first and to reject whatever would hinder me from pursuing your way of righteousness and holiness. Fill me with the joy and hope of your everlasting kingdom.”
Today we hear our Lord tell us that the Kingdom of God is near, and it’s coming with all its fullness. But until that moment comes, I think our Lord is more interested in having us see the significant signs to be seen here on earth, than the signs to be seen in the heavens … not the signs in the sun and the moon and the stars, but signs in you and me and all of us. We are not so much called to see the signs, but rather to be signs … signs of God’s kingdom in the here and now.