Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Today's Readings

Some more of today's readings below (Tue 27 Nov):

Luke 21: 5-11
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here– the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying,‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come." Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “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.”

My Reflection: Isn't the above reading a very clear warning against people who proclaim the exact time of Judgment Day? And also against those who proclaim that the world is coming to the end beause of this calamity or that war? Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 tells us that only God the Father knows when Judgment Day will come- and I doubt He shares or will share this information with us common mortals. Judgment Day will come, though- and all the worrying and the preparing (either material or spiritual) in the world will not change its hour by a milisecond. So let's not fear Judgment Day. Instead let's live every day in a manner that ensures that when that day comes, we can present Jesus with a truthfully beautiful account of our spiritual and temporal life.

Daniel 2: 31-45
“You, O king, were watching as a great statue – one of impressive size and extraordinary brightness – was standing before you. Its appearance caused alarm. As for that statue, its head was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs were of bronze. Its legs were of iron; its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. You were watching as a stone was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its iron and clay feet, breaking them in pieces. Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were broken in pieces without distinction and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors that the wind carries away. Not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain that filled the entire earth. This was the dream. Now we will set forth before the king its interpretation.
“You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has granted you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. Wherever human beings, wild animals, and birds of the sky live – he has given them into your power. He has given you authority over them all. You are the head of gold. Now after you another kingdom will arise, one inferior to yours. Then a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule in all the earth. Then there will be a fourth kingdom, one strong like iron. Just like iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything, and as iron breaks in pieces all of these metals, so it will break in pieces and crush the others. In that you were seeing feet and toes partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever. You saw that a stone was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands; it smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold into pieces. The great God has made known to the king what will occur in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is reliable.”

MyReflection: King Nebuchadnezzar's reaction to his prophetic dream is typical of people's reaction to such prophecies. Instead of repenting of his sins and becoming righteous in God's eyes, he sought to prevent the prophecy from coming true by building the statue of his dream and worshipping it. Did Daniel tell him the statue was that of a god? No. Did Daniel tell him that this is a way which the prophecy can be adverted. I extremely doubt it. Then why did he do it? Probabaly it's easier to do that than repent and seek forgiveness. Especially if you consider his opinion of him being the most powerful person around. So lesson of the story: pride can lead one into strange places. It's easier in the long run to let go of one's pride and come before God as a nobody begging for forgiveness.