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Luke 21:5-11

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "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." They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" 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. "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." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven."

Luke 21:5-11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The temple was not just the centre of the Jews’ civilisation: it was the place where God lived among them. Jesus told them that it was all going to fall apart! Is there any way in which my "secure centre" - either personal or national - threatens to collapse? The fall of the Twin Towers is a powerful symbol for many of us. The key words from Jesus in all of this are; "Do not be terrified". Can I allow Jesus, the Consoler, to speak to me, wherever I am?
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    • I may lose what is most precious to me: a relationship, health, family, security, work, possessions. What sustains me through these times? In my difficulties do I set my heart on God, so that I grow stronger as a result?
    • In our times, the destruction of the environment brings us suffering. Does this give birth only to desolation, or to compassion and a practical response? And do we believe that nature can be remade by the God who first created it?
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    • Jesus’ listeners are anxious to know what signs to look out for when the End times come. But the timing of such an event is God’s secret! We see many of the signs written in this piece of Scripture happen already in the twenty first century. Jesus warns about following ‘Gurus’ so to speak those who claim to know when the end is coming, it is easy in times of distress or when people are terrified to look for someone to show the way. But Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life...
    • Jesus, help us to remember that the future lies in your hands and nothing can destroy or hurt us if we remain true to you as Lord of our lives.
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    • The Readings from today until Advent are full of warnings about the end times. But I am not to be terrified, because God’s providence will see me through whatever evils may beset our world.
    • I pray: ‘Jesus, you care about the whole world. Even though the human story seems to be full of disasters, you are labouring so that it may end in triumph. Give me courage and energy to play my little part, so that at the end I may rejoice with you.’
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    • Jesus tells us to be prepared, to remain firm in faith. He calls us to be rooted and stable while also being ready to shed everything. He reminds us that without him as the centre of our lives, we will be lost.
    • The telling of the daily news makes it easy to believe that our times are worse than others. While technology is used to spread gloomy and disheartening news, I give thanks that it also leads me to Jesus’ truth.