I'm finding that there are days that I cannot handle listening to the news. When I do, I hear of soldiers and civilians who have been killed in Iraq, nuclear tests in North Korea, Iran taunting the world with nuclear development and vows to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. I hear about religious and political leaders involved in sexual scandals, global warming and environmental concerns and increasing crime rates. I look for some good news in the midst of all the bad.
Our reading from Luke describes a scene with Jesus having a conversation with a group of people by the temple who are admiring the beautiful design and stonework of this place of worship. Jesus shares a prophecy of the destruction of the temple, indicating that they shouldn't count on the strength and beauty of these stones as they will be nothing but rubble in the future. He paints a pretty bleak picture of a time of war and destruction which sounds pretty familiar to us today. However, in the midst of this doom and gloom message about the future, Jesus paints a picture of hope. He said that even if it seems like the sky is falling, don't panic; even if all seems chaotic around you, keep your head. He continues to describe future catastrophic events, culminating with the ultimate reality of his coming and the power of his presence in the midst of this despair. He shared this hope because he knew that in the face of seemingly impossible world events, we have a hope that goes beyond the scope of our reality. We have spiritual eyes to see the bigger picture of God's peace in the midst of chaos, spiritual ears to hear God's still, small voice in the midst of the noise, spiritual perception to know that God has a bigger plan and a spiritual heart to keep hope when things seem impossible.
It's easy to get caught up in worry about the future and a sense of helplessness and hopelessness with overwhelming problems around us. Instead, Jesus is asking us to think through current issues and stay involved, think ahead to what's promised to us in the future and think beyond our reality to see God's bigger picture and the hope found therein.
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