–By Elizabeth Ahlman
 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Luke 21:33 ESV).
All around us, the world seems to be falling apart. The words of Jesus from Luke 21 don’t seem so strange. All of the the predictions of upheaval, fear and signs seem to be increasing in frequency and urgency. Natural and man-made disasters bombard our eyes and ears. The internet, the 24-hour news cycle, the ease of travel from country to country makes us more aware then ever of the atrocities and tragedies everywhere. It’s terrifying. We know every horrific way a child can die in a freak accident. We have read articles on how to give ourselves the best chance of surviving a mass shooting. We have sat and thought through how to protect our children in a myriad of horrific scenarios. We’re even afraid of the very food we eat. There’s too much of this or that in the food. The fear of every little thing is so overwhelming. The end seems to be closing in, crashing down, crushing us all.
And it’s true that all these things are the signs of a world that is dying for its Savior to come again. Since Jesus was crucified, we have lived in the end times. Each disaster, each tragedy is a sign that the end is drawing nearer. The fear threatens to overwhelm and consume. We get stuck in our heads planning how to survive, imagining the worst, nearly weeping with grief as we replay in our heads images of horrific tragedies we cannot understand. This earth is surely passing away before our very eyes.
But Jesus steps into our despair, panic, fear and angst. He steps into the midst of the tragedies big and small. He stays our frantic minds with simple truth: “My words will not pass away.” Whatever may become of this chaotic world in which we live, whatever may happen to us, Jesus’ words will never pass away. They will never be undone. They will never be destroyed. They cannot be erased. Jesus’ words of promise endure forever, and those promises are active. Those words accomplish the very things which they promise. In our Baptisms, the Word of the Triune Name put upon us makes us children of God, who cannot be removed from Him. The Words of Consecration for Holy Communion proclaim to us the very body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in, with and under the bread and wine to strengthen and preserve us, to bring us forgiveness of sins. Jesus’ promise to return and gather all His people to Himself, to raise our bodies on that last great day, stands forever. It stands despite our fears, it stands despite those who harm our bodies, it stands despite disease, it stands despite tempests that rage. It stands, it stands, it stands. And in it we stand, we withstand, we live and we live in Him.
Let us Pray: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Word made flesh, because of this we can hope in You and Your Words of Promise which will never pass away; grant us ever to take comfort and hope in Your Word, protect us from all harm and danger, and teach us to pray, “Lord Jesus, quickly come”; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.