Today is the Feast of St. Alban, who died as a martyr in Britain in 304.
The Gospel text for today is:
Luke 21:29-36 (NRSV)
Then Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
I love this text, given the pain of Charleston…. This text of looking for signs, for the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom. It reminds of me of class with Don Saliers, when we reflected on our call to cultivate–invite–an eschatological imagination. We are called to look for the in-breaking of God’s Presence here, today…in our present circumstances.
Our practice of faith, I would say, demands that we live into this eschatological vision….that we participate with this imagination. This text has a wonderful image of using fig leaves to notice….to discern.
What signs do we see? What do we notice? In these days of pain and anger, of frustration and…I pray….resolve, what are we noticing? What are our fig leaves that are indicating a new Summer of growth is upon us?
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