When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?" Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs." Mark 13:1-8
The French people were occupied during World War Two by German forces. When the liberation came, the triumphant pictures of the people who had lived in fear and occupation for so long, are etched on my mind these days. Native nations and their peoples in this country have also been subject to occupation and control in the past. These days, when we are surrounded by terrorism and the terrible threats, we can remember the worst of times and how God has seen us through.
A disciple is marveling at the works of mankind, and Jesus reminds him of the folly of humanity. Things which we cling to as permanent will pass away, but God's love and presence will endure. We can shutter and live in fear when events, like the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, bring us to the brink of anxiety and panic. Many people are talking again about war and we can be led astray. Today, we are reminded that God is with us, God incarnate, Jesus Christ, has not abandoned us at all but is drawing ever closer. We do not need to fear or give our hearts to politicians and leaders with simple solutions by rather deepen our trust in God who us always working towards justice and the care for those rejected, marginalized and under attack.
Today I ask God to deepen my faith with each step and hour of this day. May we not give in to fear in these times but rather live lives that demonstrate the love of God. May we be moved to compassion and away from fear knowing that God is in the midst of us, even when the days are dark and troubling.
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.