Knee Jerk Devotional: December 7, 2020

Luke 21:20-28

Passage:

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Well, it sounds like Jesus has a case of the Mondays in this passage, doesn’t it? Doesn’t he know that we’re reading in the lead up for Christmas? We’re supposed to be all about the festive and the lights and the cheerfulness! Then boom, here we are talking about war, pain, death, and violence. Super fun!

Reading this passage this morning has me scratching my head a little. I can give you all the deep theological breakdowns and the historical contexts and all that. While that may be of some interest, it’s also way too much for a quick morning devotional. It’s also not all that applicable for me on a Monday.

Many people start feeling miserable on Sunday nights as they think about the coming of Monday. It’s the start of another week where they are just grinding to get to Saturday.

One blessed day where they don’t have to think about work.
One blessed day where they can do what they want with no schedules.
One blessed day where they are running here and there not at someone else’s bequest.

In the film, Office Space, there’s the perky office woman who loves Monday and mocks those who hate them with, “Someone’s got a case of the Mondays!” You pretty much want to drop kick her. It feels like everyone can identify with hating Monday.

Jesus here is talking about an epically bad Monday of sorts. But, did you catch the end? The last sentence? The promise that he drops?

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

That right there.

I think of the moment in Lord of the Rings during the epic battle of Helm’s Deep and as the sun rises Gandalf and the Rohiriim crest the hill and the tide is turned.

“To the king!” the Rohiriim cry.

This moment from the Two Towers gives me chills every time.

Mondays can be hard. Sometimes they feel like microcosms of our lives. Because life can be hard. But, when all seems darkest, we look up and what do we see?

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Our redemption is drawing near.

There is beauty in perseverance of all kinds. We can know that we can press on because when we lift up our heads, redemption draws near.

Whether it’s in the smallness of a Monday or the pain of something bigger, we can persevere and know with certainty that our redemption is drawing near.

That is the message of Advent is it not? Christmas is coming, the king is on his way, our redemption draws near!

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