I remember being so frightened when the readings in church would talk about the end of the world. Revelations is a crazy and confusing book, and it seems that the only things that are read are death and destruction. Oh, and at the end there’s a beautiful city. Great. So, as we focused on the second coming of Jesus in this first week of Advent, I found the reading very interesting. Jesus is talking about the coming persecutions and trials. They will be hard, they will be brutal. People will die of fright from what they see coming. But, He says, “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:28) Isn’t that an interesting statement to throw in there? Don’t be afraid, but see the work that is being done. Know that I am near and cleansing the world. It’s a good thing. Definitely not what I used to see, but not as frightening as it used to be.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand. (Luke 21: 25-28)