Year C Proper 28 Luke 21B
The Bedrock of Faith
Luke 21:5-19

Have you ever tried to make a prediction? Here are some predictions from the past. All from people who were trusted individuals:

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Popular Mechanics magazine in 1949 made this prediction: "Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons."

There was an inventor by the name of Lee DeForest. He claimed that "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility."

The Decca Recording Co. made a big mistake when they made this prediction: "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." That was their prediction in 1962 concerning a few lads from Liverpool. Their band was called the Beatles.

As the disciples walked out of the Temple in Jerusalem Jesus paused with his disciples, looked back at the Temple and predicted, "Do you see all these great buildings. Not one stone will be left on another." To the disciples this was bedrock. Nothing could bring down these walls. "Look, teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" they said to Jesus.

The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. The largest existing stone is 12 meters in length and 3 meters high, and it weighed hundreds of tons! The stones were so immense that neither mortar nor any other binding material was used between the stones. Their stability was attained by the great weight of the stones. The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area. Inside the four walls was 45 acres of bedrock mountain shaved flat and during Jesus' day a quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure. No sports structure in America today comes close.

You can then understand the disciple's surprise. As they walked down the Kidron Valley and up Mount Olive, Peter James and John wanted to hear more.

Jesus' prediction that a structure so immense would be leveled to the ground seemed implausible. But they pressed Jesus for more information. They wanted to know when. What would be the sign that this was about to take place? In their voice was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that their lives were about to change forever. Jesus had not made any predictions like this one. This was different. This, they could understand.

Forty years later Jesus' prediction came true. In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed by Rome. What are we to learn from this prediction and its fulfillment?

  1. The Bedrock of Faith Is Not in Temples.
  2. The Bedrock of Faith Is Not in Signs.
  3. The Bedrock of Faith Is in Christ.

When the Church Becomes a Culture of Complainers and Crusaders, What To Do?
Luke 6:20-31

You've had 7 days to adjust. How you doing . . . fighting back against falling back?

Spring forward; fall back.

These past seven days your bio-rhythms have been batty, fighting back after "falling back" or maybe even "falling flat."

Retreating one hour in order to get back to "Standard Time" is supposed to make our mid-winter mornings less dark and dismal. Unfortunately, as anyone who lives above the 45th parallel knows, those brighter "a.m.'s" come attached to distinctly darker and longer "p.m.'s." And even that extra morning light really only lasts for a couple of weeks, at best.

It isn't easy to readjust the "circadian" rhythms of our bodies. Not even by just an hour. And if you are not afflicted with SAD, "seasonal affective disorder, where the lack of daylight hours brings on depression, lethargy, and genuine "SADness," losing the light still brings all of us physical challenges and changes.

You cannot wake up "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" to birdsong when all the song birds have flown south and the only feathered friend you see on your morning commute is the occasional owl.

It is hard to argue with the family dog when the open door for a gloomy, rain-soaked "morning" walk is rejected with horror and he beats a fast-track back to his snuggly-ball doggy bed.

Besides over-priced trips to sunny lands abroad and fried-sun states at home, scientists prescribe doses of specific wave lengths of light, available in special light bulbs, to help our bodies fight off the SAD-slump fall-back. More recently, nutritionists have recommended we up our intake of Omega-3 oils - those "good" fats found especially in oily fish and English walnuts. Salmon, the fish with the most unchangeable body rhythm of any scaly swimmer, is especially high in these Omega-3 fatty acids. Apparently it takes a crazy, obsessed-by-tides-and-rhythms fish to help our bodies combat the changing tides and rhythms that the turning world has unleashed upon us.

Cold, dark days make us want to hunker down and veg out. The feeling that all there is ahead of us is a cold, dark future can bring on a kind of human "root vegetable" behavior. The just finished political races bombarded us with bad news. Employment numbers are slightly improving but not encouraging. The future of the economy does not look rosy. Getting up every morning, keeping motivated, giving all we have to our family, our church, our community, is not easy under these dark conditions.

The concluding commands made to the Thessalonian community in this week's epistle text addressed the threat of "idleness" to the life of the faithful... presents Leonard Sweet