Then Jesus 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.
‘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 defence 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.
(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
These verses from Luke's Gospel are difficult to read, but we should remember that Jesus knows he is about to leave his disciples, and he needs to prepare them. The future they believe will be a golden age, when the present evil age will disappear. However, between these will be "The day of the Lord", a dangerous time, rather like the birth-pangs of the new age. Jesus says "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."
Today, we might look at our world and wonder if this is the 'Day of the Lord', since wars, plagues, and famines seem to be so prevalent in our world. We have no idea! However, such times have occurred throughout history - the black death, two world wars etc. What we can do though is stop worrying, for this will achieve nothing - other than a few more grey hairs!
More positively we can do two things:
Hold fast to the thought that one snowflake landing on a tree branch will do nothing, but enough of them can break a branch! Keep the faith and be strong, God's people!
help us to see our world
through Your eyes,
and not to be critical
but to make a change each day.
Evil flourishes when good people do nothing,
so enable us to constantly
seek the better path
and take Your Good News to others
in the way we live and act.