No Preparation Needed? Reflections on Luke 21:5-19

"Your hardships will give you an opportunity to testify" (21:13).

We practice faithful living and searching the Scriptures so that the vocabulary of faith will not desert us when the time comes to speak up for what we believe.

"Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance, for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict" (21:15).

We take comfort in the presence of a God who will never leave us or forsake us.

"Not a hair of your head will perish" (21:18).

"By your endurance you will gain your souls" (21:19).

"Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance…," says the Lukan Jesus to his disciples. Well, maybe the early Christians didn't need to carry keynote speeches around with them, but they did need to prepare to respond to times of trial by practicing loyalty to Christ as teacher and leader, attentiveness to God's presence in their suffering, and study of Scripture so they could articulate their faith in a time of crisis.

"There is nothing you need to do to prepare," the organizer of the JFK event told me. And I immediately began to prepare. It turned out it was a good thing that I did.

Sources Consulted

Michael F. Patella, The New Collegeville Commentary, The Gospel According to Luke (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2005).

11/10/2013 5:00:00 AM
  • Progressive Christian
  • Edgy Exegesis
  • Progressive Christianity
  • Sacred Texts
  • Christianity
  • Protestantism
  • Alyce McKenzie
    About Alyce McKenzie
    Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.