Faith for and during the crisis Luke 21:5-19

As time rolls on by, we encounter those moments which shake the faith we have for life.  A child dies.  A spouse dies.  Faith is challenged in the after effects of disease or flood or tornado or hurricane.  What we believe about life is questioned.  We wonder about the goodness and presence of God.  As we look at the political landscape with the partisan attacks, lying and manipulation of the truth, where do we put our faith may be at the front of our minds.  Where do we put faith when the world seems to be a chaotic mess?

Jesus and the disciples were walking by the Temple.  A few disciples boasted about the amazing structure and beauty of the Temple.  It was an amazing building constructed by Herod, largely to the glory of Herod.  For the faithful, however, the Temple served as a solid reminder of God’s presence during the trials of Roman occupation.  Then Jesus declared the Temple would be destroyed (at the time Luke was written the Temple had already been destroyed by Roman forces).  Jesus went on to tell of a persecution for his followers that would go far beyond what is called the ‘War on Christmas.’  The things we look to for security such as family and friends would betray his followers – even to the point of death.  Why?  Jesus and the kingdom of God stand in direct contrast and challenge to the chaos.  Our sin – our defiance – leads us to choose the chaos.

So where does faith go when Temple and family and friends are part of the chaos?  First of all, Jesus warned about con-men and manipulators who would use the times for their personal advantage – don’t be deceived.  Jesus offers more than a stoic approach to ‘tough it out’ kind of faith.  He shows us the God who brings life out of the chaos.

The beginning of Genesis tells of the Spirit of God hovering over the formless void (chaos) and an amazing, life sustaining creation was formed.  From the chaos that nailed him to a cross, Jesus was raised to a resurrected life.  This world will give way to the resurrection into a life that goes beyond our comprehension.  The Spirit of God, present from the very beginning, is a witness to us so we can be a witness of hope to others.  Faith looks to Christ’s return when this hope is fully realized.

Time passes by and we are all challenged to find a place where faith can grasp.  Jesus’ death and resurrection points us to God who raises life out of the chaos.  Let faith hold firm to this and gain the life that comes in Christ.


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