I always like to start my writings with a story. I think that we, as humans, love stories and can relate to them. I found that today’s reading was more challenging than most to find a story to help even grasp the teachings in Luke 21.
The only way I could think to relate this story to your life and mine is the story of Christmas. Each year parents tell their kids all about Santa and make sure to do everything in their power to make sure they believe that Santa was the one who put presents under the tree and not them. That isn’t the point, though. Before Christmas day comes there are signs that Christmas is coming. Lights start to go up on all the houses in the neighborhoods, the salvation army Santa Clauses’ come out, and of course, Starbucks has bright red cups to remind us of the season. As a kid, there were signs also, but they were different than adulthood. I remember when we got to decorate and put up the tree, snow started to fall and I got to put on my snowsuit, and my favorite part about the season was that everyone was happy. It was hard to explain, but everyone knew Christmas was coming soon because it was almost like it was “in the air.” The signs were there and because of those signs, we knew what was coming. We prepared ourselves because we knew these signs created an expectation in us. This is the same as the reading in Luke 21.
Luke 21 talks about the coming of the Son of Man. This chapter also talks about the signs of the coming season and scripture tells us to be watchful. We don’t know the day, the time, or the hour that Jesus will come back because it will be like a thief in the night but there will be signs for us to know when the day is nearing.
Jesus states these as the signs to be watchful of:
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences
But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
You will be hated by all for my name’s sake
I sometimes wonder if we are seeing warnings now in our day-to-day lives. Wars are happening all around us. Earthquakes are killing people here and in other countries and famine is something that we can see all around us and it definitely can be found in poor countries around the world. Persecution is not happening in the world around us as much, and I think that some of us may even feel that we are persecuted here in the US, but nowhere near the same level as other places in the world.
What I am trying to say is that these things are happening in our world and Jesus warns us to be ready because when these signs appear he will be coming soon. I am not writing this to scare you; I am writing this to make you aware that we may not have a lot of time. The question is; what are you going to do the remaining time you have been given?