Jesus refers to the end times of this world in the gospel reading; He tells us what must happen before His second coming. The path to eternal salvation is not easy and will become terrifying as the end approaches. “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Luke 21:11 How is it possible not to live in fear knowing all this must come to pass?
Many of us are about to celebrate Thanksgiving. It may not be so easy to find reasons to be thankful this year, which has been filled with many of the signs Jesus described, particularly a plague. However, Jesus also assures us we do not need to be afraid. Now that is a gift for which to be thankful! Our faith in the Lord will not only save us at the end of the world, but our devotion to Him will keep us safe while these insurmountable odds stack up against all those dwelling in this world before that time. We have our Savior who has promised never to desert us. Although others in the world may perceive these signs as reasons to fall into despair, we have the blessing of knowing these wars have already been addressed on the cross at Calvary. Furthermore, the war has been won and we are allied with the Victor.
This Thanksgiving may appear very different than past celebrations of the holiday. Many will be separated from their loved ones, but no one will be alone at the feast because Jesus will be attending each of our celebrations, the best Guest and our reason to be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving, but every day of our existence.
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Your insights into this gospel passage are powerful and comforting. We are all seeking reassurance during these trying times and that reassurance seems more elusive than ever. Thanksgiving has traditionally been designed for large gatherings and now we are prohibited from having more than 2 guests. Luckily Jesus tells us that all we need are 2 or 3 gathered in His name and He will be present as well.