Being a Christian has always been risky business. Jesus did not promise us tranquility. What he promised was that he would be with us regardless of our situations. In fact, tomorrow's Gospel (Luke 21:5-19) includes these words:
Jesus said, "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 aainst 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.
But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify.
So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls."
Left unsaid is this question: Knowing all this, are we still interested in following Jesus? It's risky business but his presence stabilizes us, even when the end is near.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek