Read Luke 21:34-38.
Our reading for today actually marks the end of Jesus’ public ministry in Luke, and it is part of a larger apocalyptic discourse. In the preceding verses, Jesus describes earth- shattering events that will bring forth the promised kingdom of God. The imagery is disheartening, and would weigh heavily on those coming to Jesus for spiritual guidance.
Jesus is preparing his followers for his departure and the transitional period to follow. So, his encouragement to “be on guard” and “stay alert” intends to give some final guidance to those who came seeking his direction.
Today, however, I am more interested in what Jesus does than what he says. The text describes this indefinite time between this scene and Judas’ betrayal during Passover. Jesus spent his last days working and teaching in the temple, but he still found time to rest.
You are likely reading today’s devotional amid your finals. A semester’s worth of work is coming to an end. With all the stress that entails, we can quickly become overwhelmed by papers, exams, and final projects. Even more, we often feel pulled to work to the point of exhaustion. Yet, our reading for today gives us an example of a Christ who worked diligently till the end, and found time for rest. May we seek to follow that example.
God, who gives us sight of what’s to come, grant us the energy to work through our current stresses. Give us the strength to stay alert, but also help us find rest in your presence. Keep us attuned to the task at hand, but also give us hope for the future as we look forward with anticipation in this Advent season. Amen.
Rev. Chris Bailey Campus Minister, Marshall UKIRK
Alum, Spartanburg UKIRK (PSA)