Reading the morning news has become a struggle. The news cycle just doesn’t change. Migrants fleeing horrible living conditions are greeted with rejection, branded as criminals. Dire predictions are made about the future environmental changes and will the generations still to come have a livable climate. Despots around the world commit murder and little is done in response by the other nations. International alliances for peace are showing cracks. Hate an anger are hotter than ever. Yes, reading the morning news is a challenge to hold on for hope that events will change.
Jesus is speaking of a foreboding future too. Signs in the sun, moon and stars… Nations will be in anguish… Men will faint from fear… Heavenly bodies will be shaken… All because of what is coming. The news of that day had become a struggle too.
What Jesus gave as advice for that time was and is today striking. Rather than duck our heads in fear we are to lift up our heads in a daring act of hope. All that we now witness and know will pass away. However, his words will remain. Jesus’ words are that redemption is drawing near. His death and resurrection will bring an end to the present struggles and resurrect a new and redeemed world/creation.
Jesus’ words are calling out to us to gain a different perspective. The challenge is not to look with fearful eyes at what is going on but with eyes that look at a world to be redeemed. This isn’t escapism. This isn’t denial of what is going on. Rather, this is bringing hope to what is honestly fearful. This is to have enough trust in Jesus’ hopeful words to lift our heads and challenge the world as it is to act as a world being redeemed in Christ.