11/13/2016 Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost The text is Luke 21:5-19.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
This past week was one for the record books. With an unexpected election outcome, we have a new president elect. Who could have predicted a Donald Trump victory? Not the journalists…not the pollsters…not Hilary Clinton…not even me. Donald Trump won for Donald Trump heard the voice of the average guy and gal living in the middle of the country, and the “forgotten person” felt forgotten no longer.
Of course, with no one seeing what was happening, the election left a lot of people stunned. Some were happy by the outcome. Others were shocked and angry over the loss, and they took to the streets to display their disappointment. Their reaction took me by surprise. I never saw the protests coming. I never would have believed that people would riot over the defeat of Hilary Clinton.
But then, predicting the future is a difficult thing to do. There are so many factors that go into the equation and none of us has an accurate crystal ball that reveals the future. So not only can an election take us by surprise and the way in which the people react to losing can leave us flabbergasted, but we have no idea what is going to happen over the next four years with a Trump presidency.
To those of you filled with anger or anxiety over the outcome of this year’s presidential election, I say, “Don’t panic!” It may seem to some that the world is caving in, but the sky is not falling. For, no matter what happens – good, bad or indifferent – our future is secure in God’s hands.
In our gospel for today, the disciples are in panic mode over the future as Jesus has just told them that the day will come when the temple will be destroyed. Jesus goes on to tell his disciples what signs will take place, before the world, their world as they know it, comes crumbling down…and by the way, none of those signs involve an election in the United States or the reaction to it.
The signs involve war and earthquakes and famines and plagues. And as these things happen, there are no elected officials nor anything else in this world that can guarantee safety. Those of you who have lived through the depression know how unreliable bank accounts can be in securing the future. Those of you who have lost friends and loved ones in wars or to disease and accidents of all kind, know how fragile human life is. Walls cannot provide lasting protection. Buildings crumble. All things can be destroyed. There is only one thing which will stand forever and that is the word of God. That word is the building block of life.
So, what about Washington DC? Is the White House a temple of power? Not really! The real power is found in God, and God’s temple is found wherever God dwells. Buildings will crumble and elected officials will change, but the place where God dwells will never be destroyed – for that place in within each of us.
My friends, we can easily forget that we are God’s temple. We are connected to and through our Lord and Savior, and entwined around the cross of Christ. It is here that we find our security for today, tomorrow and forever. Together, we will endure through faith. Together, we can meet all the hardships that may come our way. Together, we will support one another with the strength and the blessings we receive from God. Although troubles can and will come our way, these challenges are opportunities to testify to God’s enduring love.
For, if there is one thing that Jesus wants his disciples to know it is that God is the one in charge. God, our God will support and protect those who call upon his name. And, God, our God will not let a hair on your head perish.
So, don’t panic. Don’t fret. Do not be afraid! Don’t get caught up in the small things. There are much bigger things coming up the road. Beware that you are not lead astray! Keep your hearts and your minds focused on the Lord of life for in him there is hope for today and strength for tomorrow. And remember, whatever the future may hold, we are safe in God’s hands.
So, pray, praise and give thanks. And remember God’s promises to you and his kingdom of eternal joy and peace in his presence. And may the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.