November 18, 2018
Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Mark is not an easy read (read the whole chapter sometime today). In today’s gospel, at the beginning of the chapter, a disciple gushes over the size and grandeur of the temple in Jerusalem. He is impressed and enthusiastic. Jesus, however, openly mocks what the disciple has so praised.
A small group of disciples pleaded with Jesus for more information later that evening, and his message now seemed even bleaker. Jesus spoke about wars, famines, and social unrest that would disrupt everyone and everything. And that temple over which they had been fawning? Jesus knew that the massive stones of this towering monument to the Hebrew faith would be yet another helpless casualty if the Roman Empire got angry enough. He could give them no comfort, only a firm, unyielding truth: life was about to become a nightmare for everyone. If his disciples wished to make it through this time in one piece they needed to continue to remember his words and follow him.
Jesus warns against being led astray. This is what chaos does. This is what fear does. There is hardly a better way for evil to spread than through chaos. There is hardly a feeling more corrosive to all that is good and holy than fear. In the midst of chaos and fear, Jesus filled the disciples, and fills us, with the power of the Spirit. This Spirit-power helps us navigate the dangers and fears we will surely face in life. These threats, these rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famines? They were not just back then. They are now, taking many forms. They are constant, unyielding. But mercifully, Jesus is yet even more constant and unyielding—in ages past right up to this moment. Thanks be to God.
From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.