Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Power and the Glory

Luke 21:25  "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."

Luke writes about signs in the sun, moon and stars that will cause people to faint from fear, because the powers of the heaven will be shaken. However, his readers are not to be afraid because “they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory.”  

This is a message that transcends time and space: whenever people are afraid of the signs and there is distress amongst the nations, the Lord comes to bring hope. Today as I watched the memorial service for Nelson Mandela I heard the fear and longing of the nations: some spoke of the loss of one who inspired hope; some spoke of the death of an icon; and some sections of the crowd were vocal in their fear of our leadership. The arrival of Christmas reminds us afresh that we are not to be afraid – because the Lord of Peace is still with us.

Second Sunday in Advent
3.The Coming of Christ
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 26.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

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