The End of the World
The theme for this coming week’s theme deals with the theme of the end of the world. In the Gospel (Luke 21:5-9) Jesus tells us what will happen as He gives us signs of the end. Judgment is pronounced in the Old Testament lesson (Malachi 4:1-2a) as the wicked will be burned up but the righteous will be saved. In the Epistle lesson (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13) Paul teaches that we are not to be idle but to work and provide for our needs. We work until the end comes. Today’s world is in a terrible mess. Each generation seems to think that conditions are so bad that the Day of the Lord is nigh. What is the answer? Can the world be saved from destruction? Is the answer in an international army, or in strengthening the dollar abroad, or in raising the economic level of the Third World, or in the conquest of illiteracy? The lessons have other options to propose. What can be done about the world? Burn – God’s fire both destroys and restores – Malachi 4:1-6 Earn – Work while waiting for the end – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 – Warn – An opportunity to witness to the world – Luke 21:5-19
Collect for the 25th Sunday of Pentecost: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and Your just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Father of all that is good, keep us faithful in serving You, for to serve You is our lasting joy. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect for Proper 28: O Lord, almighty and ever-living God, You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who trust in You. Rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may live and abide forever in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Collect for Psalm 98: Lord, we sing to You a new song, for Your victory is ever new. In the empty tomb You have given us a glimpse of Your future and in Your victory over death Yu have shown us now we shall overcome the last enemy. Ads the seas roar and the hills sing together, we too will praise You for Your great triumph, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Prayer for the hope of eternal life: Almighty, everlasting God, Your Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ may increase daily and that we may hold fast to the hope that on the Last Day we shall be raise in glory to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Monday, 08 November 2010—Psalm121:1-2, 5,7-8 antiphon, Luke 21:33—In the Introit for Sunday, we pray the words promised by the Savior, Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. The world is surely coming to an end. This is more noticeable as the days become shorter and as the church year is drawing to a close. Yet we need not fear. Our Savior has given us a wonderful promise. Every word He has given us will be fulfilled. Although the world passes away He word will never pass away.
Tuesday, 09 November 2010—Psalm 98 — This week’s psalm is a song to God the Victor. He comes to rule His kingdom. Let the whole world go wild with joy. Three stanzas progressively extend the call to ever wider circles – the worshiping congregation at the temple, all the people of the earth and the whole creation. The first stanza recalls God’s revelation of His righteousness (vs. 2) in the past; the last stanza speaks confidently of His coming rule “in righteousness.” (vs.9) The middle stanza is enclosed by the jubilant cry, “shout for joy” (Vv. 4, 6)
Wednesday, 10 November 2010—Malachi 4:1-6— Think of the end of he4 world in terms of the rising sun. It means a new day and a new era. The un of God brings light and healing. When you are not feeling well, doesn’t lying in the warm sun make you feel better? The sun for us in the Son of God. When He rises in our lives, we can shine with gladness and hope. When He comes at the end of time, it is the beginning of an eternity of life and love. The end of the world is not to be feared nor dreaded but to be greed with the phrase, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Thursday, 11 November 2010—2 Thessalonians3:6-13— Jesus may return within a year. That means one year to love on earth! Or, put it this way: you have a terminal disease which will kill you within one year. What would you do with the time until the end? In Paul’s day, the Christians were convinced that Jesus would return shortly. They gave up their jobs and were idly standing by as they waited for his coming day after day. Throughout history there have been groups of people convinced of Jesus’ immediate return – they quit their jobs, sold their property, took their children out of school and lived in a commune. What would you do? Paul encourages us to keep busy and to work until the end comes. See especially verses 10-13.
Friday, 12 November 2010—Luke 21:5-28 — Many believe we are living in the worst of times. Perhaps every generation says this. But has there been a generation with so much destructive power; nuclear weapons, germ warfare, guided missiles, instant communication, supersonic travel? Are we not on the edge of a worldwide nuclear holocaust with the power to over-ill many times over? What can a Christian do about it? We could hide or flee but where? In the passage Jesus calls upon us to do our best under the worst circumstances. The worst calls for us to be at our best – to feel secure in God’s protection and to endure until the end. See especially verses 18-19.
Saturday, 13 November 2010—Isaiah 28:16, 41:10; 43:1-7- Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is How Firm a Foundation. (LSB #728). We need not fear the end of time for our faith has its foundation in the words and work of our Savior Jesus. As we sing this magnificent hymn tomorrow we can be confident that our Lord will sustain and guide us to the end.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Collect for Pentecost 24 from Lutheran Worship © Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C by John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing Lima OH
For All the Saints A Prayer Book for and By the Church Vol. II © 1995 by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use