Good evening, brothers and sisters in Christ! The readings coming up for Sunday are Psalm 98; Malachi 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-28. Again the readings all relate in some way to the End Times and Christ’s final return to earth.  Talk about the End Times whether in or outside the Bible can draw any number of responses out of people. Some of the more faint-hearted are frightened by the unsettling images Jesus describes. Some overly analytical types feel the need to try and predict when the End will come. And others (men, mostly) get positively giddy about all the End Times talk. These are the folks who collect survival guidebooks and seem to be itching for disaster to strike just  so they can prove their readiness. I think that all these people are missing the point. Behind the admitted uncertainties about what lies in the future is an underlying Gospel message of comfort and encouragement that we can take to heart right now. “Do not be terrified. (9)” “This will be your opportunity to bear witness (13)” “By your endurance you will gain your lives. (19)” “Straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (28)” What is it time for you to stop being afraid of today? Where has God given you an opportunity to share Jesus today? Perhaps your witness can start with a head held high and hands raised to heaven even in the face of difficulties. For Christians the best way to be prepared for the future is to be attentive to how we are living right now. Have a peace-filled week in the LORD!