2Thess 3: 6-13 // Luke 21: 5-19

The early church was a marginalized, insecure group after Jesus' Resurrection. It was under attack by both Jews and Romans. The fall of the Temple, the rise of Synagogues and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius with the subsequent destruction of Pompeii all put immense pressure on the small churches founded by St. Paul. The church was insecure and on high alert. The church in Jerusalem was dependent on donations from the little churches founded by Paul for its survival. It is in the midst of this 2 Thessalonians was written by some-one other than St. Paul as he was dead by this time. The early church was finding scapegoats and blaming people as a part of its survival strategy. Today, the sad fact is that this writing has been used as a weapon against the poor and the disadvantaged as well as the sick. We know better today that love calls us to share. Sometimes we encounter folks who taking the bible literally, use this book to "other" people in our midst.

Luke, speaking in Jesus' voice talks about the fall of the Temple. He calls on Christians to stand firm upon their values of love and their ethic of inclusion, forgiveness and care no matter what the pressures. There will be in our lifetimes similar societal pressure as climate change and its dislocation begins to bite. There will be attempts to blame others, scapegoat and mock others. Christians who practice love and seek reconciliation and forgiveness will be mocked. Jesus calls us to know our values and hold firm to a vision of inclusive love for all.