2012 Advent Devotion- Saturday, December 8

by Ben Wiley, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Summer Intern (2012) and student, Davidson College (Davidson, North Carolina)

Luke 21:10-11

“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” (Luke 21:10-11).

In many ways this verse predicts the present. Our world is as engulfed in conflict, sorrow, and disaster as ever, and we deal with the very real threat of persecution. But we do not face persecution simply because we carry the name of Jesus Christ. In fact that simple deed will often have the opposite effect in today’s world: People who know you come in the name of Jesus will welcome you with open arms.

It’s when we try to live out Jesus’ word that we encounter the persecution described in this passage. To live out the will of Jesus as we interpret it is to denounce man-made conflict, embrace faith and God, and build bridges where some may not want them built. For this, we will indeed be hated by all. But as Jesus said, “by your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Dear Lord, help us to see your will and follow you on your own lines, not on those set by people who hope to divide us. We trust in your word. Amen.

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