Reflections: November 8, 2020
The Third-Last Sunday of the Church Year
By Aaron Fenker
On account of the elect those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord cares for you. He and His Father, in the unity of the Spirit, created everything in the universe as a gift for you. This Triune God knitted you together in your mother's womb. The Son became man for you, died, rose, and ascended to run the universe for your good. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to you in the water and Word of Holy Baptism. Jesus breathes more life into you through the Word of God. Jesus delivers the forgiveness of sins to you through the pastor He hand-picked. Jesus uses His power to deliver His Body and Blood to you for the forgiveness of sins in order to strengthen your faith toward God and that you would have fervent love toward those around you.
Things are going to get bad. If you think they're bad now, well, I've got news for you, they'll get worse. That's what Jesus says. He's warning us so that we're not surprised or unprepared. "There will be great tribulation," Jesus says, "such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be" (Matthew 24:21). Wars. Rumors of wars. Famines. Earthquakes. Persecution. Christians will fall away and betray one another. Love will grow cold (Matthew 24:6-12). And false Christs and false prophets "will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).
Sound scary? You bet! But read that first paragraph again if you need to. I'll say it again here: The Lord cares for you. He won't abandon you. That's His baptismal promise to you: "I am with you always until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). That includes the last days Jesus is talking about in Matthew 24. In fact, He cuts those days short for you. You were chosen in Him from creation, and at Holy Baptism. "I have called you by name, you are mine," He says (Isaiah 43:1).
You're not on your own, especially in the scary times. Jesus is there for you. He cares for you. He created you. He saved you. He gathers you to His table where He gives you His Body to eat and His Blood to drink, which strengthen and keep you, body and soul, unto life everlasting. And on the Last Day He will gather you to Himself forever to live with Him in eternal life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Wherever the corpse is, there the eagles will be gathered. (Matthew 24:28)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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