One day people were

     One day, people were standing around talking about the Temple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, “All this you’re admiring so much–the time is coming when every stone in that building will end up in a heap of rubble.” They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?” He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.” He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You will think at times that the very sky is falling. “But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name.  You will end up on the witness stand, called to testify.   Make up your mind right now not to worry about it.  I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.   “You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me.  Even so, every detail of your body and soul–even the hairs of your head!–is in my care; nothing of you will be lost.  Staying with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You will not be sorry; you will be saved. “When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you’ll know that she is about to be devastated. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you are in the city, get out quickly. If you are out in the fields, do not go home to get your coat.  This is Vengeance Day–everything written about it will come to a head. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do. “It will seem like all hell has broken loose–sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. “And then–then!–they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style–a glorious welcome!  When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”  Luke 21:6-27 the Message


Wow, I know that is a long passage! It is the gospel reading from the daily office yesterday.  Yet, as I read it, with all that is happening in the world on my mind, it really sparked some reflection in my mind’s eye. CNN has been reporting the story on North Korea preparing to launch their new intercontinental ballistic missile, which may be able to reach main land USA. Some military experts are urging the president to take another preemptive strike, and blow the missile up on the launch pad with one of our cruise missiles, or we may shoot it down with our missile defense system. Then, there is the arrest of the seven in Miami yesterday for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. During all of this hysteria, there are the TV evangelists and preachers who are capitalizing on the news to grab the attention of people.  That brings me to the text of discussion.
     Jesus warns us to avoid distraction by all of this stuff. Listen to the text of the paraphrase from the Message:      
     He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.”
This is no sign of the end, it says, and, watches out for the doomsday deceivers. People living in the time of Jesus expected the end of the world to come soon after His ascension. The early Christians thought His return was eminent. The Millerites in the 1800’s packed their bags because they the return of Christ was on an exact date. When He did not come, that day is now called “day of great disappointment” and the Seventh day Adventist church was born. This has happened repeatedly throughout history.
     What really bothers me the most, however, is how some “theologians” influence world leaders to make decisions because of their biblical view points on the end times (eschatology). Some leaders may choose to actually go to war, thinking that it is fulfilling bible prophesy. NEVERTHELESS, Jesus told us to ignore all of these prognostications. He told us to live our lives as though every day he would come, and in fact, the Kingdom is already with us living in us; we should are to be prepared for anything!

     “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”  John 16:33 Message

     When you here disheartening world news, and scary prediction from evangelist who sound as thought they are happy that bad things are coming on us, remember the words of Jesus Christ as recorded by our friend Luke:

     “…keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.Lk 21:9 Message

It is my prayer for you that you have peace, light, and much love this coming week and that health and well-being may shroud your life. Keep your faith strong, your heart pure, and your feet planted firmly in God’s good earth!

     

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About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

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