Sunday, November 14, 2010
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "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."
They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And 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."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." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.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. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls." Luke 21:5-9
I have come to the end of a long day and the end of a long weekend. I have enjoyed a multiplicity of activities, a highly successful church fair, a visit from my sister and her kids, a visit with our youngest daughter, church services, and a harvest festival at our local retirement home. Wonderful celebrations all. And I am a bit weary. And I have endured challenges too, and I realize that we are called to endure, to hang in there and that God is with us as we hang on. My friend who recently ran the New York City marathon at 60, said it was not about winning but finishing, getting to the end.
Jesus was concerned that the disciples would worry more about getting faith right than hanging in, riding the waves of success and failure trusting themselves rather than trusting God for everything. He wanted them to realize that it was their job to give thanks in all things and endure, trusting God for their strength, wealth and even their words.
Today, as the sun sets and the winter's night settles in, I want to rejoice that my job is enduring. Every day I want to exercise ny trust in God and my forgiveness and compassion for others. I pray that we can all keep at it, encouraging one another, and trusting God for all of our lives and words.