Today, we transition from summer to fall. I can refuse to wear a jacket and deny that it is truly fall, but that doesn’t make it summer. I get no say in the change of seasons. I am powerless, but there is one thing I can do – surrender and live according to the future reality. (The morning weather forecast even hinted at a few snow flakes overnight.)
For months, we have been reading from the Bible about a period of history in which Israel was experiencing tremendous change. There were opportunities along the way to behave differently which could have altered what happened and certainly would have altered how they got through what happened. Then there came a point when Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were forced into exile. We’ve been reading the book of Daniel. The first half of the book contains amazing stories of faithfulness and God’s power to intervene on behalf of the faithful. The second half of the book contains dreams with images that are confusing to us but likely familiar to the second century B.C. faithful (which is when the book was written). As I read the book of Daniel, I have been listening for the message that I need for my life. In the midst of change (and a change of season is the very least challenging change I face), there is hope for those who will keep the main thing the main thing. God never changes. God is constant. God wants a relationship with me even when my life and the world around me is spinning out of control.
Psalm 137 may be the most honest passage in the Bible. I understand the grief, hurt and anger expressed in this psalm. And yet, the message of scripture did not end here – nor does it end within the emotions that I find amid a changing world.
So when I read the final verse in Luke 4, I hear a message of hope. “And Jesus kept on preaching…” He kept on. And he still does.
Today’s readings: Daniel 7-8; Psalm 137; Luke 4; (Day 13 in the 21-day challenge: John 13)