Today's Reading: Luke 21:25-36
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 11:1-12:6; 2 Peter 2:1-22
"Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. As the Day of Judgment draws near, the world in which we live will become even more chaotic. There will be signs and wonders. We will have wars. There will be storms and plagues. The earth will quake, and the whole world will be in turmoil. At this time, there will be many people in this world who will be terrified. The life they once knew will be coming quickly to an end, and even the heavens will be shaken. During a situation like this it would be easy for us to run around in a panic, to throw our hands in the air and give in to fear for what is about to happen. It would be a natural thing to do because deep down, we know that all this is happening because of us and our sin. Sinners will always face judgment, and, as we have learned, the wages of sin is always death.
However, Jesus tells us that on that day when the Son of Man comes in a cloud and with great power and glory, we are not to fear. Instead of being sinners terrified by what we have done, you and I are to lift up our heads and look to the heavens because on that cloud comes our redemption. What a great comfort this is for us! You see, the great Judge who is coming on that day into this world is Jesus, our redemption. He alone paid the price necessary to save us from our sins. His blood shed on the Cross has brought us forgiveness, peace, salvation, and everlasting life.
No longer do we need to fear the Day of Judgment. On that day we will not see an angry judge; instead you and I will see and hear the voice of our dear Shepherd. He will say on that day, "Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest."
So we watch and wait, gathering together as the Body of Christ, encouraging one another through songs, prayers, and by the Word of God. We're staying awake until Jesus returns, and He will come soon. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent)
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch