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 Claire Gibson

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.

Post Comments (31)

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

  1. Kitty Mc Donald says:

    WOW! Our women’s Bible study just started Priscilla Shrier ‘s study The Full Amour of God. During our small group discussion, I mentioned are we prepared for what is to come. In America we are seeing an up rise in anti-Christian rhetoric! I said I want to be sure when I am threatened with prison or death, I will be able to stand strong in Christ! I want to be like Papa Santi and instead of pleading for my release, that testify for my Lord!!! It was great to read your synopsis of the passages and explain God will be with us during those moments!! Thank you!!

  2. Kitty Mc Donald says:

    WOW! My church/women’s Bible study just started doing Priscilla Shrier’s study, the Full Armour of God. After the 1st lesson, we broke down into our small groups. At that time, I mentioned that the day is coming when Chridtian’s in America will be persecuted to point prison

  3. Peggy Larmore says:

  4. Peggy Larmore says:


  5. Angie says:

    Words are powerful.
    Able to injure or heal,
    soften or harden
    destroy or give life,
    turns us towards or away
    Like a linguistic map they guide us.

    The WORD OF GOD.
    Words…Alive and Active,
    Read and interpreted through the Holy Spirit
    Healing, softening, life giving, directing towards good
    A living-linguistic map that starts where we are
    and leads us to where He wants us to be
    if we will only follow.

    presented to us through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ
    a “birth-day” gift into the kingdom
    Taken in both visually and through the heart
    poured out verbally and with our hards and feet.

    Your Word – always fresh, always new, growing me God.
    Thank you for the messages in todays readings.
    I lift up these women you have created, and thank you for Your Plan, Your Peace, and Your Presence in our lives.

    1. Rhonni_l S says:

      Praying for you too – your words here really impacted me – thank you ❤

  6. Heidi says:

    A lot struck me in these passages today- maybe the biggest was the explanation of God shaking the heavens and the earth. Removing all things that CAN be shaken… I don’t think the significance of that concept-shakable- has ever really sunk in. Thought scripture He talks about things that can’t be shaken- His Love, His power, His grip on us… The world is in the midst of constant Spiritual struggle, Spiritual Forces fighting over its inhabitants. Turmoil, pain, disruption WILL come and will be experienced. I’m not promised to always be protected from earthly struggle and pain (though sometimes through grace we are..)- in fact the opposite is true- we’re actually promised we WILL face trials and persecutions, just as He did- but in them to rejoice and take heart because He’s already overcome this world and the end has already been written. I take such a new comfort and stance of humility that He’s listed out what will NOT be shaken and His great love for me is on that list! :) His eternal, final rescue of me is on that list! :) Praying I will not allow the “worries of life”, as it said in Lk 31:24 distract and dull my heart and eyes from the work to be done and the battle to fight and the joy to be lived…

  7. Maura says:

    Thank you Claire, it is hard to imagine living during World War II and the suffering borne by so many. Thankful for Papa Santi and those that brought hope and light in such darkness. Trust in our Lord Jesus is light and life. The King of Kings has the victory and as His people we must hold our head up and shine His love and light. Praise God we are not left in darkness and can speak the Word and love those put in our path. This world full of trials and distractions has no power to steal our joy when we trust the lover and Defender of our soul. Thankful for the truths found here my sisters.

  8. NanaK says:

    For some unknown reason to me, I am unable to reply under specific comments. :-( At any rate–Churchmouse: As always–AMEN!
    Stephanie: I relate so deeply with your sentiments. I feel so outcast by worldly standards and those whom I am often working; HOWEVER, I KNOW that my Father in Heaven is always with me, to guide me, comfort me, and show me the way to His Kingdom. I KNOW HE WILL give me ALL the strength and perseverance I need to be a shining light in this dark world until He returns. And when I feel lonely because I don’t fit in…I will count my blessings because that means I am need to be preparing for His return!

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