There he goes again. In this week's Bible reading from Luke 21:25-36, Jesus is talking about the powers of the heavens being shaken.
Who are the powers of the heavens? In Jesus’ time that was Rome. For Jesus’ followers and for just about anyone who wasn’t in a position of power, Rome represented everything that was wrong with the world. Shaking up the powers of the heavens pointed to a change in the way things worked. It offered hope to those who lived under the rule of tyrants.
Jesus’ words are revolutionary. Claiming that the powers of this world will be shaken up and that “the one” would come with power and glory may today bring us a visual of earthquakes and solar flares and all kinds of Mayan calendar apocalyptic destruction. And in all that destruction the mighty Jesus comes in to saves the day. Back then, for the powerful and for the powerless, it brought visions of the emperor and kings and governors being thrown from their places of power while a new emperor came to take over.
That revolutionary. That rabble rouser.
I sure hope they’re more to the story.