Friday, July 8, 2016

Gathering From the Four Winds

Jesus said, “So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’—do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
“Immediately after the suffering of those days
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from heaven,
and the powers of heaven will be shaken.

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:15-31 

This is the season for pow wows and traditional gatherings across Native country. In winter we tell our stories in our small familial groups and remember the years past, and in summer we set out to gather with our larger families to reconnect and to learn how our world has changed. We find new stories for our winter sharing and new experiences to add to remembrances.  We don't just recite our successes or keep a tally but pay attention to the heavens and the earth in motion around us.

Jesus is telling anyone who will listen that the season has changed and they are to pay attention. So many want to be a part of the "elect" but few a willing to be servants of others and of the world. We are invited to not worry about the "end times" as many generations have in the past, but pay attention to the living needs about us, to the heavens and the earth in motion around us. God invites us to elect a posture of caring, of living for others and not for self.

Today, I ask God to help me pay close attention to all that is in motion, and to be ready at all times to serve. May we let our self cares go and see the needs of the nations gathered around us today.

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