A friend of mine was lamenting her current relationship with her fourteen-year-old daughter. “Any time I disagree with her or tell her she can’t do something, she runs into her room and slams the door, screaming, ‘The whole world is against me!’”

I sympathize with my friend, but I still remember that tumultuous time in my life when I also felt that the whole world was against me. It felt like nothing I said or did was good enough. I never felt confident, and I was constantly questioning whether anyone really liked/loved me. Whenever I hear someone say they wish they were young again, I shake my head. It is not easy feeling like the whole world stands in opposition to your very existence.

Jesus can relate. In Luke, Jesus tells his followers what they will face in the times to come, foreshadowing what will happen to him very shortly. The world has very little patience with people who call for radical change, social upheaval, the redistribution of power and property, and abandoning conventional wisdom. To be a faithful witness to Jesus Christ and the vision of God for a just, loving, and free world is to invite the whole world to be against you.

But this is our invitation and our purpose. We proclaim God’s wisdom by speaking truth to power and calling for the transformation of the world. Thank God for the blessed and powerful gifts of Christian community and the Holy Spirit. We never stand alone. We are one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry and witness to the world.

Make us one, O God, so that as your people united by your love we will live to honor and glorify you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 21:5-19

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Lectionary Week
November 7–13, 2022
Scripture Overview

This week we read two passages from the prophet Isaiah. In the first, God promises a total restoration, a new heaven and a new earth— a theme repeated in Revelation 21. The new Jerusalem will be filled with joy and prosperity. Isaiah 12 offers thanksgiving to God for the gift of salvation. The praise of God will be proclaimed among many nations. In the epistle, Paul chastises a lazy faction among the Thessalonians. This passage has been misapplied as teaching against providing assistance to the poor, but Paul’s target is not the poor; it is those who can provide for themselves but fail to do so because they say they are too focused on waiting for Jesus. In Luke, Jesus foretells future turmoil for Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 65:17-25. How can you play a part in Isaiah’s vision for God’s people? When do you have to accept that only God can usher in this vision? How do you know the difference between these two situations?
Read Isaiah 12. How can your words be life-changing for others?
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. Who has mentored you in the faith? How has their guidance helped you grow?
Read Luke 21:5-19. How do you speak the truth of Jesus to those who say the end is near?

Respond by posting a prayer.