Across the Pastor’s Desk: Trust in God’s promise for future

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, November 7, 2019

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Don Rose

Don Rose


For many within the greater Christian community the month of November marks the ending of another church year liturgically. The readings appointed for the Sundays at this time in the church year tend to look to the end of time and the promised reappearing of the Savior, Jesus the Christ.

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Like an unending cycle, this will also be the theme as the church enters a new year in the season of Advent.

It is interesting to note that for many, any discussion of these times is filled with darkness and foreboding. People are filled with fear and dread at the anticipation of Christ’s reappearing in the end days — partly a result of the culture of the day and partly due to a misunderstanding of the promise of the end days, such fear and dread, allows people to be susceptible to a multitude of false teachings and declarations.

To consider the end times is to look to the breaking of the dominion of God into this world.

This is in fact the very thing for which the faithful pray when they ask that God’s kingdom come.

This kingdom is not simply this world in a new and better version, but is in fact a radically new reality, much beyond the hopes and imagination of human beings. To anticipate the coming of that kingdom is to begin to live into its hope and promise for all. To trust in God’s promise for the future is to begin to live out that promise in the present.

As a result, the people of God find themselves living differently with different criteria than does the rest of the world. With their futures secured in God’s promise, the children of God who no longer struggle to have a place that is already theirs are free to live for the sake of God’s world.

No longer are status or accumulations of goods the standard by which God’s people are measured. In light of the promise of the coming kingdom, God’s people are set free to spend themselves for the sake of others and for their witness to the good news of the Savior.

It is, however, unfortunately true that there can be a disparity between the teachings of the faith and its actual practice by those who profess it. This disparity is one of those things to which non-believers and others point as a reason for their non-participation, which leads back to a willingness to accept darkness and fear in the face of the future rather than allowing oneself to believe in the promise of God, not as it is always lived out by God’s people, but as it is rightfully proclaimed in the life and death of resurrection of the Savior.

In this season of endings, trust in the new beginnings promised in the coming of the kingdom.

In the encroaching darkness, look to the light of God’s love and God’s grace for all of God’s children every day.

Don Rose is pastor of Mansfield and United Lutheran Church.