Main Text: Luke 21:25-36 (Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13)

It is important to distinguish the circumstances and brokenness of this world and life from the presence of the Lord, without separating them completely. Our readings today do a great job of doing that. The reading from Jeremiah speaks to the people of Israel already displaced and scattered from their land and homes. They are under foreign authority and treated as property. Yet, this promise tells them that God was not lost with the land and the fall of their government. God’s promise still remains. The letter to the Thessalonians expresses Paul’s desire for the community to be ready and responsive to the promise of fulfillment when God sets things right. The reading from Luke makes the distinction between the signs of the brokenness and decline of the world, and what we should do within them. As we see the signs of decline and decay within our culture and throughout the world, we are not to duck and cover. Instead, we should stand up and look out, because our redemption is drawing near. How are you looking at the signs of our times? Are you seeking to duck and cover under fear, anger and self-preservation? Or do you look right through it in hopeful anticipation of God drawing closer? Where do you see God present through all of these things? There are many signs of destruction. Raise your head up and look out, because the Lord is near!