Caution, Birth Pangs, & Keeping Alert

Read Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 (You may also want to read the verses in between 8 and 24.)

Our scripture reading this week is filled with a lot of substance. I’m convinced I could preach on various aspects of it over the course of several weeks.

There is Jesus’ foreshadowing the destruction of the Temple, (which will occur in the year 70) as he says, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another” (Mark 13:2 CEB). There is the warning to his disciples to be cautious lest they be led astray by false prophets, those who would lead them away from his core message of love.

And there is the talk of the Christ’s return following his crucifixion. (We often read this to be about the second coming of Christ but Mark was just as likely foreshadowing the passion given its location in the gospel. In other words, he was telling the disciples that even in the darkest time — his crucifixion — they should keep alert for the resurrection.)

Jesus emphasizes that though the things of earth, the things that human beings build are fleeting, but his teachings and words will “not pass away” (Mark 13: 31 CEB)

As you read and pray on the scripture, reflect upon those things that we thought would never fall or change (e.g.; the Iron Curtain, the World Trade Center, or something more personal). Reflect and pray and trust that though the creations of humanity are soon gone, the love, plans, and essence of God are eternal.

Keep alert! Despite the birth pangs of the unfolding realm of God, the church, our lives, and our world are being transformed by divine love.

Tim

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