Collect of the Day
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all asssaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Reading of the Day, Luke 17:20-37
20 Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you." 22 Then he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 They will say to you, "Look there!' or "Look here!' Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them 30 —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. 34 I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left." 37 Then they asked him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."
Once upon a time, when I was more curious than wise, a most unusual experience jolted me to begin a new faith-journey direction. Tired after a busy day of caring for young children, a garden and routine household chores, I plopped into bed and was just "settling my brain for a long summer's sleep" (to rephrase a familiar phrase!) when I was startled to semi-consciousness by "the trumpet sound announcing the END TIMES!" At least that's what I thought I was hearing. In a panic to be sure I was not one of the unfortunate "left-behind folks", I tried to remember what the Bible says about being on the rooftop, being the one taken from the bed, working in the field, grinding grain. Almost as instantly as those thoughts raced through my brain other thoughts took their place: I can't climb up on the roof! My husband is sleeping right here beside me and if anyone deserves to get to heaven, it's him! The children are sound asleep in their beds. If this is "IT" - the "FINAL CALL" - why would sweet, innocent (mostly) children be left behind? And for myself? What else do I have to do to be sure I made the "FINAL CUT"?
It took at most 60 seconds for me to become fully aware of the source of the "trumpet sound": a big truck, driving on the highway one block south of our house, was sounding its loud horn, making a noise which carried easily into our bedroom's south-facing open windows!
Did this give me great and wondrous relief? Somewhat. But mixed with relief was an awareness that I had been given a kind of "wake-up call". Where did I, where would I, look for the kingdom of God? How did I, how would I, live knowing that the kingdom of God truly is with me now, here, right where I live. How willing would I be to live as a "kingdom child"?
And every time I hear an unexpected "trumpet/truck horn" blast, I'm reminded that God's Kingdom is where I live now and forever! Wake up to the wondrous miracles God is eagerly waiting to work through you!
thoughts of a fellow traveler - DMc