Day 30

The Coming of the Son of Man

from the Luke reading plan


Luke 21:1-38, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4, Hebrews 12:25-29

BY Guest Writer

One of the great perks of being a novelist is the research. Recently, for reasons that are not fully apparent to me, I’ve been devouring anything I can read about Italian orphanages during and after WWII. I’ve even connected with an eighty-year old Neapolitan man through Facebook. Through Google translate, he’s shared about his experience growing up under the care of a Christian family, the Santis, who ran the only Protestant orphanage in Southern Italy, a place called Casa Materna.

Though Casa Materna is now closed, I immediately ordered every book on Amazon about the place. In reading about the Santi family during WWII, I was struck by one situation in particular. Under constant surveillance by Mussolini’s fascist spies, Papa Santi, the founder of Casa Materna, was arrested for his activities and his preaching. At the trial, the judge asked him what he preached every Sunday at the orphanage. In response, Papa Santi began reading directly from the New Testament! His unjust persecution turned into an opportunity for unparalleled witness.

From my position of safety and wealth, WWII might seem like ancient history. But I am really just two generations removed from that reality—a reality that may have looked a lot like Jesus’s prediction of the end of the age.

Jesus doesn’t sugarcoat the truth for His disciples. He explains that the future is going to be full of war, famine, plagues, and natural disasters. He describes the destruction of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the persecution of believers. It is a picture of great chaos. And yet! In the midst of that chaos, His followers are to stand firm and lift their heads.

Much like Papa Santi in the midst of the chaos of WWII, Jesus’s followers are not to be distracted by the chaos of the kingdoms of the world, but to keep their eyes focused on the kingdom that is coming, one that cannot be shaken. Jesus is our only hope, our only comfort. Despite the chaos of the world, He will still come back. The Son of Man will not leave us as orphans. He will come with power and great glory. He is coming back to rescue us. It is a certainty. He promises, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Luke 21:33).

We shouldn’t expect our future to look much different from what Papa Santi faced in his lifetime. But what Jesus told His disciples is still true for us. We do not need to prepare our defense against the world; we need only to draw close to the Defender.

Claire Gibson is a writer whose work has been featured in publications including The Washington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine among many others. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Patrick, their son, Sam, and their dog, Winnie. Her debut novel, Beyond the Point, will be published next year.

Post Comments (30)

30 thoughts on "The Coming of the Son of Man"

  1. Steph C says:

    “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly“ (Lk 21:34). I live in the world. I’m surrounded by the distractions and obsessions. The addictions and excesses. But I can’t let those things define my life. They can’t control my thoughts or distract me from God. My desire for God has to be stronger than my desire for physical satisfaction.

  2. Brittney Boucher says:

    Great reading today to remind us that our trust in God is the only defense we need against the hard times and evil in the world!

  3. Shea Lasiter says:

    With so many things we can worry about in our world today it is such a comfort to know we don’t have to focus on/stress about preparing our defense but just focus on being close to our defender! There is such peace in that! Thank you for that reminder!

  4. Natalia Phillips says:

    If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready!

    Friends have used this line in the past jokingly, but it seems so fitting for Luke 21. If we prepare our hearts, minds and spirits to endure the spiritual and physical warfare that will take place, as we experience it we too will be unshakeable.

    From experience, not allowing our day-to-day weigh us down is easier said than done, but the Word always reignites hope that it too will pass.

    May we be encouraged today and always to continue to seek the face of God, asking for wisdom, knowledge and strength to overcome.

  5. Rebecca Gunning says:

    Claire-check out the book War in Val d’Orcia by Iris Origo.

  6. Ashley Thomas says:

    I’ve had a lot of difficulty staying focused on the kingdom of God instead of the chaos of the world around me lately. It’s easy to get bogged down by all the things that go against Christian beliefs. This was a great reminder to me that I need to keep my eyes upward! I will continue to let my light shine for others to see to know the goodness of God and our lord and savior Jesus Christ!

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