By: Maggie Leonard
Luke 21. 25-36
Reflection—v. 36, ‘Stay Alert’
Stay alert, not on edge. Alertness is what we lose when we give in to the lies of the world—the lies of redemptive violence, the lies of endless consumption, the lies of the need to constantly be entertained. We numb ourselves to pain by seeking pleasure—or as Luke records it, numbing ourselves to our anxieties by seeking out drinking parties and drunkenness. We seek the extreme positive of the emotional spectrum, nothing else is comfortable. Surely pleasure after pleasure after pleasure equals happiness. Here we are encouraged to have the strength to face our lives alert—not dulled in our hearts or minds. Perhaps we might watch the ebb and flow of life, alert to the changes, maybe even sustained by contentment and joy. To me, there seems to be something more deeply rooted and stable about joy and contentment than happiness—they come not out of experiences but an understanding of belovedness, of value. Though dull hearts can feel fleeting happiness, they lose sight of joy. The signs of the kingdom are before you, stay alert!
Prayer God, keep us alert. May we not be fooled by lies or distractions. You are the way to life and love.