Daily Advent Prayer Challenge – Day 17.
Read Luke 17. Commentary – As we progress through the Gospel, the sayings of Jesus are more difficult to hear. They are moving to the culmination of the death and then resurrection of Jesus. Conflict is becoming more and more apparent and less hidden. The parables of Jesus are becoming more pointed and offer less room for escape from responsibility. The end of Luke 17 tells us to beware of those who claim they know where Jesus is, or worse, claim to be Jesus returned. And the statement that caught my attention the most? Verse 33 – “Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it.” Doesn’t match up with the American dream does it?
Let us pray. God of days that are to come, you warn us about false messiahs that claim to be you. You warn us not to follow false messiahs. And for good reason too. False messiahs do not save – they only lead to destruction. Save us from the false messiahs of the world. Reveal the empty promises of false messiahs for what they are. Let those with eyes see.
Today I pray for a people who desire a false messiah. Why? Especially when there is a real Messiah. Why are people drawn to false promises and false gospels? Could it be that we don’t really want to hear the Gospel – the message that tells us that we can’t save ourselves. That we have no power to save ourselves or others. That only you can save and you don’t ask for our help and you owe us nothing. And yet you offer an invitation to participate in the unfolding of the Kingdom, despite our brokenness and sin. Heal my heart from any desire of a false messiah. Give me the courage to name false messiahs openly. And to follow the only true Messiah. Amen.