Monday, July 16th. Mark 13:9-13

“As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”  Mark 13:9-13

As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

A recent newspaper article said that, for growing numbers of Americans, the most significant national memory has become the destruction of the World Trade Center.  Ironically, the phone number we call when we’re in trouble, 911, is the short hand way of referring to that national tragedy, 9/11.

Which means that, for our youngest generations, the “bad guy” living in the shadows of their imaginations are terrorists and suicide bombers.  Torture, dehumanization, has become the normal practice for both the “good guys” and the “bad guys”.  It happens in secret locations, is a feature of the civil wars in Africa, the drug wars in Mexico, Central, and South America.

Back in our day, when the Cold War was still hot, we had other national memories.  Watergate.  The Tet Offensive.  Pearl Harbor.  The Lusitania.  The Civil War.  The rogue’s gallery of man’ inhumanity stretches back as far as we seek to see.

All the way back to the first century and the scapegoating mistreatment of the earliest Christians as the Roman empire squashed the micro-rebellion in that marginally significant place known as Israel.

We read Mark’s “mini-apocalypse” with the warped imaginations of those conditioned to see it at some kind of foreshadowing of the “end times.”  Here is the truth – we DO live in the end times.  People have always lived in the end times.  And the point of apocalyptic literature has always been both to give voice and encouragement to those suffering under the thumbs of the powerful AND to capture and expose their abuses.

So it is that these words, all the words of this chapter, are about ALL times, not just back then or off into the future.  Thus they speak encouragement to those who are suffering today – “those who endure to the end will be saved” – and they challenge us to learn from the past, to find another way, to finally realize that violence begets violence, and perhaps learn a new way to do life together.

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, you hear the cries of the suffering and you know the carefully crafted plans of those wielding the power to do violence.  May the sufferings of the faithful stand against evil.  May we trust the power of love.  May we trust your Spirit to guide our steps, quell our fears, and bring your kingdom of peace.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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2 Responses to “Monday, July 16th. Mark 13:9-13”

  1. Melanie Says:

    Welcome back! Indeed we are in the end times as none of us will get out of this alive. So, it’s what we do with our meantime that matters and God has given us direction through His son, Jesus who also comes to take care of the rest. Thank you Lord for all your blessings. May we use them wisely for your sake.

  2. Sharon Boyd Says:

    Good Morning, Pastor Kerry-
    Great to have you back! And this is a MUCH needed reminder. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
    I will be passing it along to my Brothers & Sisters, and move forward. God bless!

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