Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malachi 4:1-2a: "See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall."
Luke 21:5-19: "When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 'As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.' 7 They asked him, 'Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?' 8 And he said, ?Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and 'The time is near!' Do not go after them. 9 'When you hear of wars and insurrections do not be terrified for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.' 10 Then he said to them, 'Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 'But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.'"
COMMENT: Both Malachi and Jesus make bone-rattling predicaments about future events. I must confess I prefer to read from Malachi, "But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise" I also feel comforted and assured by Jesus' words, "Do not be terrified" and "not a hair of your head will perish"
Daily we are bombarded with the information that fits both Malachi's and Jesus descriptions. To say this "news" is unsettling in understatement. However, when I read these words, "The LORD has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations." Psalm 98:2, my heart settles. I am reminded that I may not know what the future holds for the world or for me and those I love, but I know God controls of both. The perfect metaphor that describes my mind after reading these words is, "You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall."
But it doesn't end here, what could be more fitting than to read Paul's benediction? "May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints."
It seems love is the answer to our questions, the remedy for our fears and the necessary goal of our lives. If we daily seek through prayer, God's love for us and willingly give love to others, our future is secure no matter what happens.
Continued Blessings in Ordinary Times,
November 11, 2010