The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed. 1 Samuel 2:10
welcoming refuge for the outcast,
and upholder of justice for the oppressed:
maintain the hope of the poor,
so that the time may soon come
when no one need want for food and shelter,
and all will learn to share freely
following the example of your Son, who gave
his very self; who now lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
- 1 Samuel 1:4-20
- The Song of Hannah
- Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25
- Mark 13:1-11
- 2 Samuel 23:1-7
- Psalm 132:1-12
- Revelation 1:4b-8
- John 18:33-37
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 25 – Mark 13:1-11
“Do you not see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
Chapter 13 in Mark’s Gospel is Jesus’ discourse on the end times.
The chapter opens with Jesus and his disciples leaving the temple in Jerusalem. The disciples are deeply impressed by the magnificent structure, but Jesus prophesies its destruction – as all the things of earth will one day be reduced to ashes and dust in the end times. Mark’s community immediately hears Jesus’ words as a prediction of the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.; these first Christians saw its fall as the ultimate sign that the world was about to end, and Jesus was about to return. But Jesus’ discourse here reveals a far greater cataclysm than this singular event.
Warning his followers to beware of false prophets and messianic pretenders claiming to speak for God in times of great anguish and anxiety, Jesus exhorts his disciples to persevere in the turbulent times ahead; their faithfulness in times of such suffering will be the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s reign.
Christ calls us to embrace, not the things of the body but of the soul, not the things of the world but the things of God: the lasting, eternal treasures of love and mercy, the joy that comes only from selfless giving, the satisfaction that comes from lifting-up the hopes and dreams of others. Jesus urges us to recognise the “signs” of change with eyes and spirits of faith: to appreciate what a precious gift our limited time on earth is; to realise every changing world and passing stage, every pain and triumph, are opportunities for growth, maturity and understanding of the transforming presence of God; to embrace change — the passing away of our own “heaven and earth” — as part of our journey to the dwelling place of God.
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