May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Lord God of all the ages,
the One who is, who was, and who is to come:
stir up within us a longing for your kingdom,
keep our hearts steady in times of trial,
and grant us patient endurance until the Sun
of justice dawns.
We make our prayer through your Son, our
Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with
you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.
- Isaiah 65: 17-25
- Song of Isaiah
- 2 Thess 3: 6-13
- Luke 21: 5-19
- Jeremiah 23: 1-6
- Song of Zechariah
- Colossians 1: 11-20
- Luke 23: 33-43
A Thought to Ponder
“The days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down . . .
“I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.”
Many Jews believed that the end of the world would be signalled by the destruction of the great temple at Jerusalem. That is exactly what happened in the year 70 A.D., when more than a million Jews were killed in a desperate siege of Jerusalem by the Romans. It is against this background of this event that Luke writes his life of Jesus.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple and a chronicle of catastrophes. But Jesus does not teach dread here but hope. Trying to calculate the end of time is a waste of time; the signs of the apocalypse – war, plague, earthquakes – will appear in every age and there always will be self-proclaimed “messiahs” who will manipulate such events for their own power. Jesus assures his followers that those who remain faithful to the vocation of discipleship will have nothing to fear when the end comes.
Jesus calls us not to be obsessed with the “stones” that will one day collapse and become dust but to seek instead the lasting things of the soul, the things of God. Compassion and mercy, justice and forgiveness are the lasting treasures of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that is created in our own homes and classrooms and churches.
In the most difficult and paralysing moments we face, Jesus promises us that when we act out of selfless love to seek first the good of another, we will find the words and actions that heal and lift up. God remains present to us in the goodness within ourselves and in the caring compassion offered by others.
Despite the wars we fight, the earthquakes that shake our sureties, the disasters that topple our secure, self-centred worlds, we can always rebuild our lives on the stronger and timeless things of God: compassion, reconciliation, friendship, generosity.
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You can read the Pew Sheet herePew-Sheet-Pentecost-23-C-2022