Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9; Psalm 100:1-5;Luke 21:20-28
“When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:28)
In the science-fiction film Signs, a small-town minister, Rev. Hess, finds weird patterns in his cornfields, and his children hear strange noises outside their house. On learning that aliens may be invading earth, Hess’s son asks him for comforting words. Hess responds by saying that there are two groups of people in the world. The first group sees signs as more than coincidence, as evidence that someone’s watching out for them. The second group believes that no matter what happens, they’re pretty much on their own. Then Hess asks him: “Which group are you in?”
As you read today’s Gospel, you probably sense that you should be in the first group. As a believer, it’s certainly more comforting to look at current events in the light of Scripture. Turmoil in the Middle East, climate change, natural disasters—all of these things could bring to mind what Jesus says about events leading up to his return. But at the same time, things like these do sound frightening.
The antidote to fear is not to focus on these events but on the words God speaks to us in the midst of them. Every time we hear of troubling events, we can see in them reminders that Jesus is preparing to come back. It may be today or a century from now or some other time in the future. Today’s headlines can certainly be discouraging, but if we read them with eyes of faith, we can be sure God is still working all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
This holds true not only for global catastrophes but for our problems as well. So many events are beyond our control—job loss, a serious illness, financial meltdown. Yet we know that God can bring good even from these things. The question is: Which group do you want to be in? The group that thinks life is meaningless? Or the group that looks for Jesus’ presence in every situation, good and bad? If you’re facing something difficult right now, try your best to stand tall and raise your head. “Your redemption is at hand” (Luke 21:28)!
“Lord, you are all I need. Your cross is the sign that gives me hope. Thank you for giving me your peace, the peace that passes all understanding.” ~WAU