Daily Reflections · Priest's Perspective

Daily Gospel Reflection 25 November 2021

Luke 21:20-28

20But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that her desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country stay out of the city. 22For these are the days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

23How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! For there will be great distress upon the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among the nations, bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the surging of the waves. 26Men will faint from fear and anxiety over what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

These Gospel reflections are not an attempt at in-depth teaching or exposition on the Gospel but merely to have the Gospel as a daily reminder to us to focus on Jesus. I encourage you to read further and deeper, and to study the Gospel more closely for yourselves.

What is worth noting is that this text refers to the time that we life in. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and at a time (which Scripture specifically in multiple places says we cannot know exactly when it is) Jesus will return. Much of Luke’s Gospel speaks about what we are to be doing in “that time” of waiting for the return of Christ, Jerusalem has been destroyed and Jesus has not yet returned therefore this text tells us about today, and what we are to do today and every day until he comes in the clouds.

Two important things here – When Jerusalem is destroyed it will be a terrible time, remember that Luke’s Gospel was written after AD70 and so this is an historical fact by this point, and at the time, a confusing one. Jesus had come to establish the Kingdom and His Gospel was being preached into a world where Jerusalem had been destroyed and the Christians were being persecuted. Here Luke reminds us that this is the age of the Gentile and it’s time has been set by God as a time that will end. We know that in this age of the Gentile’s we the Church are meant to be bringing them the Good news of Salvation. Here is a clear reminder that we are to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.

Jesus goes on to describe how there will be (verse 25) “signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among the nations, bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the surging of the waves. “ we can attest to that, and in a sense Climate Change is the major issue here. Which is why there is contention as to how Climate Change should be handled. But be aware of this. We have established through our reading of Scripture and especially in Luke, that in this time described by verse 25, we are to care for the widow and orphan, work for justice, speak peace, uphold the sanctity of life. We cannot say, ‘oh well this world will pass away and therefore God is okay with the suffering of others.’ We are not trying to address Climate change to stall the second coming or to influence the trajectory of scripture. We are trying to address Climate Change because of the unjust suffering that it brings. It’s not about the scientific calculations of rising sea temperatures, it’s about the injustice of the world systems built on fossil fuel energy that pollutes our air and enriches a few at the cost of everyone else. Its about driving for a freer fairer way of life for all. Its about Jesus calling us to live in Him and to participate with him who was :

“anointed to preach good news to the poor. Sent to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  (Luke 4:18-19)

In today’s Gospel Jesus is describing our time and saying to us 28When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” and as we read yesterday. Luke 21:13 This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses.  So, make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves.  For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”

This verse must be read to mean – don’t make up your own defence. Seek God’s wisdom in this, speak God’s truth alone. Seek Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Do what ever you do to the glory of God and hold your head high, don’t be dismayed or downcast, this story is going somewhere, each day we move closer to the day when Jesus will come on the clouds and establish his reign forever. Here Jesus assures us that he is in this with us and that he has an expectation of us. But what will he find us doing?

Today let us walk by the spirit of God and live in the hope that salvation brings. Let us hold our heads high and look to the One who was and who is and who is to come, because our redemption is drawing near.

In St Peter’s words: “in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, “  ( 1Peter3:15)

Scripture tells us that today is your opportunity to serve God. I pray you will use it!

Our daily meditation on Scripture is because 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the child of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.( 2 Tim 3:16 &17)

Let us pray:

God our Father you called us out of darkness and into your marvellous light, to shine as a light in the world; shine in our hearts and enable us to proclaim your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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