One thing in life is for certain.
That nothing in life is for certain.
We truly do not know what each day may bring our way.
Last Sunday we were thinking about resurrection.
Our sermon from the day “The Living Difference” can be found here.
Our reading this coming Sunday is from Luke 21:5-19. Jesus and His disciples are in Jerusalem. The disciples are pretty certain that Jesus is somebody special in God's eyes and are quite sure that God will take care of Him (and them.) As they visit the temple they marvel at the seeming permanence of the institution. It was an impressive building.
Jesus astounds them by predicting that the temple, in the not so distant future, would be flattened. In fact, Jerusalem itself would be ransacked and pass through a time of great destruction. He tells them that they, as His followers, would face persecution and be called upon to give an account of themselves.
They naturally ask Him about how and when and why. He refuses to answer with any specifics, other than telling them to keep trusting God whatever may happen and assures them that God would remain in control, even when outwardly it looked like everything was falling apart.
With the benefit of hindsight we know that Jesus was speaking the truth. The temple, as did all of Jerusalem, fall before the might of Rome. And many of those who professed to have faith in Him, following His death and resurrection, were indeed persecuted and called upon to account for their beliefs.
Temples are built and temples crumble. Empires rise and empires fall. History is an unlikely chain of events and has a tendency to repeat itself. Today's certainties may not be so clear tomorrow. When all is going well in our lives, faith comes easy. It is easy to trust when we don't have much to be trusting about. It is when the unexpected happens, when uncertainty creeps in and when we cannot predict the outcome of an event, that we have a struggle on our hands.
Yet Jesus still, in His predictions of woe and trouble, adds at the end of His descriptions, “But not a hair of your head will perish.” For those who continue to trust in Him, despite the outward appearance of things, there remains a promise of protection.
Maybe that is a verse we need to keep somewhere close by for those times when everything seems to be falling apart. “Not a hair of your head will perish.” Dare we trust that God is STILL in control? That's not easy. The thing is, I have yet to find a verse in the whole of Scripture that suggests it should be.
For some music and further reflection “Mercy Me”sing “Even If.”
The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.