Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
1. Why does Jesus tell his disciples not to be terrified when they face war, disasters, and persecution?
2. Why doesn’t Jesus want his followers to prepare a defense?
Reflection: There is, and has always been, more power in love than in hate, in Jesus than in those who kill and persecute. I feel very sad for those who live in fear—in fear of religion, of the future, of lack of material objects. They needn’t fear. Earth is, after all, just a training ground for the real events that happen afterward. But the disciples still fear. Fear is natural, of course. And this is why Jesus told his followers in Luke 21 to let him speak through them and not to try and clumsily defend themselves against the “higher powers.” The disciples have done nothing wrong; why should they try to defend themselves?
Prayer: I believe, dear Lord, that you sent us here to try us; and though we realize this, we are still afraid of earthly things. I pray that we’ll come back to you with confidence, and that however hopeless we think life is, we’ll be able to take refuge in you. It is often difficult to put our trust in you, but we know that your way is truly best.
The 2013 Advent Devotions were written by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) youth and their leaders at the 2013 Youth Triennium. Each day provides a lectionary-based Scripture passage, questions for reflection, and the students' responses.