From the Word
25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25–28, RSV
How shall we look up and lift up our heads, which evidently means, how shall we manifest any joy in and longing for these signs? In answer I would say that all this is spoken only to those who are really Christians and not to heathen and Jew. True Christians are so afflicted with all manner of temptations and persecutions that in this life they are miserable. Therefore they wait and long and pray for redemption from sin and evil; as we also pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” and, “Deliver us from evil.” If we are true Christians we will earnestly and heartily join in this prayer. If we do not so pray, we are not yet true Christians.
If we pray aright, our condition must truly be such as to look up to them with joy and earnest desire, however terrible these signs may be, as Christ admonishes: “When these things come to pass, look up.” He does not say, Be filled with fear or drop your heads; for there is coming that for which we have been earnestly praying. If we really wish to be freed from sin and death and hell, we must look forward to this coming of the Lord with joy and pleasure.
But what do those do who are filled with fear and do not desire to have him come, when they pray, “Thy kingdom come,” “Thy will be done”? Do they not stand in the presence of God and lie to their own hurt? Do they not strive against the will of God who will have this day for the redemption of the saints. It is necessary that we exercise great care lest we be found to hate and to dread that day. Such dread is a bad omen and belongs to the damned, whose cold minds and hard hearts must be terrified and broken, if perchance they might reform.
To believers that day will be comforting and sweet. To them that day will be the highest joy and safety; just as in this life the truths of the gospel are exceedingly sweet to the godly and exceedingly hateful to the wicked. Why should the believer fear and not rather exceedingly rejoice, since he trusts in Christ who comes as judge to redeem him and to be his everlasting portion?
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 431–32.
Today's video was made in 2021 so references in the video to days and dates may be askew in the year in which you are listening. However, the Luther reading is, indeed, for this day in the year.