Prayer: May we not be distracted, Lord, and miss you in our lives.
Reading: Luke 21:25-36 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: The merchants have been building our expectations for several weeks already. They expect that we will buy lots of their stuff as we prepare for Christmas. We expect……what? All the great things that happen at Christmas!
But, Advent is really about expecting “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints.” It is about the second coming as we confess in the creeds. So, the gospel text for this coming Sunday is one of those strange apocalyptic ones that talk about last things. Very few people give that much thought any more. Over the years, I’ve come to use Advent to celebrate the presence of God in our everyday lives—now and in the future when Jesus comes again.
So, as I read this text here’s what jumped off the page. Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life. We have a lot to worry about in this world of ours. Worries perhaps have been focused by recent events of terror. Worries and maybe even despair can prevent us from realizing and experiencing God in the midst of life—and all of our worries.
Happy New (liturgical) Year! May your year be full of expectations of God who lives among us, even in our deepest worries. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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