“When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.'” (Luke 21:5-11 NRSV)
I was visiting a member of my congregation when she said, “Let’s have coffee.” A few minutes later, we were savouring coffee with cheese and crackers. I looked at the cup and asked her where the mug had come from and what it meant. The deep red mug had a crown, and below was written, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. She told me the story of where the saying had come from. During World War II, Britain expected an imminent invasion from Europe. In preparation, thousands of flyers were distributed across the country which instructed people to remain calm and go about their daily routines no matter what happened. It was an inspiring story that I had never heard, and I thanked her.
It wasn’t long before a package arrived on my desk, and inside was my very own “Keep Calm” coffee cup. Yes, it still reminds me to carry on when so much is happening in the world that seems overwhelming: economic and social crisis, a pandemic, unrest in so many places, and of course “wars and rumours of wars”. We are not called to hide from such events, but we are invited to carry on, knowing that we belong to Christ and that He remains with us always.
Prayer: Help us, God, to find a peace that passes our understanding, even in the most difficult of days. When events around us seek to overwhelm us, enable us to hear Your voice and carry on with the important things of life. Amen.
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada
Reprinted with author’s permission from PresbyCan