Today's Reading: Matthew 24:15-28
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)
Sometimes shorter is better.
We’re tempted to want things like the junior prom, homecoming, and summer vacation to last longer. However, when it comes to final exams, driver’s license road tests, and visits to the dentist it would be hard to find someone to argue the fact that shorter is definitely better.
In today’s reading our Lord is telling His people every kind of terror and tribulation imaginable will be aligned against them in an attempt to cause them to stumble and fall away from faith in fear trembling.
All sorts of imposters, talking about all sorts of spiritual things that sound and feel real good will arise. They will ridicule such things as the Lord’s Prayer and the Creeds that proceed from and confess the very Word of God, and replace them with impromptu prayers and creative worship that spring from the hearts of men. They will take the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper that are the work of God to forgive sinners and give them life, and turn them into decisions by which they commit themselves to God and prove their faith to the world.
Between all the horrors of a fallen world and the temptations of a false spirituality, the baptized are as surrounded and hounded by evil as Noah and his family before the flood. As you are finding out, the life of a Christian is no summer vacation. It’s often a lot more like a visit to the dentist, or worse! And even when life is like the prom, beware—lest you become so attached to it you forget the things of God.
Thanks be to God He does not subject His children to life in this world so long it tears or tempts us out of the kingdom of heaven that is ours only in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit
Almighty God, we implore You, show Your mercy unto Your humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Your judgment, but according to Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Third Last Sunday of the Church Year)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.