November 27

Luke 21:25-28

“People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” vs. 26

For the past few years we watched as the nation of Yemen has been virtually destroyed by constant tribal warfare and unrelenting air attacks from Saudi Arabia. Thousands have been killed, disease is rampant, and, because relief efforts have been blocked, starvation is widespread. No end to the conflict seems imminent! Yemen’s situation gives a bit of perspective to what was happening in Israel in the first century as the early disciples tried to continue the mission of Jesus. The Roman Imperial army was on the march. Jewish towns and cities that offered resistance were destroyed. The impregnable fortress at Masada fell to a siege, and in Jerusalem the Second Temple was totally destroyed. Thousands of Jews were killed. Many more faced famine and starvation. As Luke and others began to write their gospels they included Jesus’ apocalyptic sayings in an attempt to give perspective to what they were experiencing. They believed that Jesus was going to return soon–and everyone was wondering what the signs of his coming might be like. No specifics are given! Jesus had just said that they should be on the alert! At times that’s what life is like on this planet. Disaster looms–catastrophe seems certain–and no one seems to be in charge! And tomorrow Advent begins, just in the nick of time! We need these four weeks to reflect and prepare. Something big is coming, and it’s not Santa Claus!

Thought for the Day: What might it be like to live in Yemen?

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