Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The images in this passage are a dissonant contrast from the images of a sweet, cuddly baby held by a serene young mother that we normally associate with the Advent season. Luke's disciple's community had come to know that the promised Messiah, and the coming of God's kingdom would herald an upheaval of political, socio-economic and religious systems that had oppressed God's people for hundreds of years. For Luke's community this was not something to fear but to look for, the old was passing away and God's reign was beginning. Nothing would be the same when Jesus returned, all would be redeemed and freed from what was separating humanity and all of creation from God's work of justice, peace, and love.

These types of passages in our culture tend to take us down the path of apocalypse, such as in the "Left Behind" series, but this is not what Jesus is talking about at all. The earth and the nations are already in distress and have been for millennia; this is not new. But what will be new is God reorienting all of creation back to what God intended: wholeness, freedom, and justice. Look expectantly this Advent season, Jesus says, for signs of what God is already doing in our midst.

Messiah, we look for your coming again. As we see signs of your justice, peace and love in the world, may we stand up, raise our heads and work with you in the coming of your kingdom. Amen.

Brigette Weier
Pastor, Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Master of Divinity , 2012

Luke 21:25-36 (NRSV)

25 "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
29 Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34 "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly,
35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.