Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Stone left

As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." Mark 13:1-3

We have just finished living through what was a very mild nor'easter in this part of the world. Other people weren't spared the worst as we were. I remember when I was small and we had a very bad storm. Many of the houses in the little town of Cape May Point were damaged or wiped out completely. I remember the sheer terror I felt as things which were permanent to me, then were completely destroyed. There were tables and chair, toilets and cabinets floating in the still flooded streets. What I believed to be the everlasting in my life was torn asunder. This feeling can be sheer terror for those who have never had the world around them undone. We all suffered together when the terrorist attacks brought down the twin towers and damaged the Pentagon. The earth shaking anxiety that life is on the verge of destruction and we can count on nothing.

Jesus' disciples are awed by the building and wealth in Jerusalem. They admire it and are transfixed by it. The splendor makes it feel trustworthy and permanent. And Jesus asks them, as he asks us, to see that nothing is permanent save the love we have in God. The signs and destruction around us, which unsettle us to the core, are but birth pangs, the beginning of life anew. If we put our faith in quick fixes, fancy gadgets, or oppulence, rahter than in the constancy of God, we might miss the blessing and the new life that God has in store for us.

Today, I want to make my walk with Jesus, a daily commitment to trust completely. Even when what is bedrock to me seems to be shaken, I want to make each breath a prayer, and each action a willful step in following Christ. The loss and pain we feel now, is the opening act of life new and renewed. May we put our whole trust in God today, and know that each pain or threat we feel today is the beginning of new life.

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