On December 2, Pastor Jim preaches on Luke 21:25-36.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Our Scripture for Sunday is known as “apocalyptic literature,” which means it deals with the end of things. Let’s address the elephant in the room; honestly, it’s not the most comforting passage.
Give me the story of the Prodigal Son, or the birth of Christ; both are also found in the Gospel of Luke. They are comforting and orienting. This passage, on the other hand, is about as disorientating and uncomfortable as they come.
How can we make sense of these rather frightening words of Jesus? At this writing, I’m not actually sure; the sermon is yet in the larval stage.
I do notice that he tells us that in the midst of all these “signs” to “stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
As a big fan of redemption, that, at least, is hopeful.
Anyone who watches the news knows that “distress among the nations, confusion, the roar of the sea (hurricanes), fear and foreboding,” are rampant in the world, and let’s face it, in our own country.
How many of us feel compelled to pray, “Maranatha!,” which means “Lord, come quickly!”