The end is near. There is no doubt about it. The warnings are dire. The tone of today’s texts is ominous. But the baptized know how to live in the “meantimes.” The baptized are strengthened for the living of these days in word and sacrament. The baptized rally around the invitation of the apostle: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.”
Readings and Psalm
A day of blistering heat for the arrogant; a day of healing sun for the righteous
In righteousness will the Lord judge the world. (Ps. 98:9)
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Do not be idle, but do what is right for the sake of Christ
Jesus speaks of wars, endurance, betrayal, and suffering for his sake
First Reading: Malachi 4:1-2a
Malachi, whose name means “my messenger,” warns that the day of the Lord is coming. On that day, the evil will be destroyed like stubble in a fire, but the “sun of righteousness” will shine on those who fear God.1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2aBut for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.
Psalm: Psalm 98
In righteousness will the Lord judge the world. (Ps. 98:9)1Sing a new song to the Lord, who has done | marvelous things,
whose right hand and holy arm have | won the victory.
2O Lord, you have made | known your victory,
you have revealed your righteousness in the sight | of the nations.
3You remember your steadfast love and faithfulness to the | house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen the victory | of our God.
4Shout with joy to the Lord, | all you lands;
lift up your voice, re- | joice, and sing.
5Sing to the Lord| with the harp,
with the harp and the | voice of song.
6With trumpets and the sound | of the horn
shout with joy before the | king, the Lord.
7Let the sea roar, and | all that fills it,
the world and those who | dwell therein.
8Let the rivers | clap their hands,
and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord, who comes to | judge the earth.
9The Lord will judge the | world with righteousness
and the peo- | ples with equity.
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Some members of the Thessalonian community, because of their belief in the nearness of Christ’s return, had ceased to work, living off the generosity of other members of the community. Paul warns them bluntly that if they want to eat, they need to work.6Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.
Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
moves toward God’s fulfillment there will be frightening signs and
events. Before the end, believers will draw strength from their
relationship to God and shall be given the words they need to testify
and to endure without fear.5When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, 6“As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
7They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” 8And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.
9“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” 10Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12“But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17You will be hated by all because of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your souls.”