Thursday, November 12, 2015

Remain Faithful by JoAnn Fisher

Mark 13: 1-8

As he 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 places?  Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

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 birthpangs.

As I considered this text, it occurred to me that I most often hear it referred to by TV evangelists who are promoting the “end times.”

Those TV evangelists encourage us to fear one another, to prepare for Armageddon, and for “the rapture.”  What if that interpretation of Jesus’ words are wrong?

I am bothered by those broadcasts.  They seem to make peace and diplomacy irrelevant. I believe that with and through God we continue to have influence on our world.

I am grateful to belong to a church that focuses on the present with a great hope for the future.  We do not believe in the “rapture.”  We believe in the kingdom of God on earth.

 What if Jesus is saying not to put our trust in impressive buildings, powerful governments, or rumors about the future?  What if Jesus just wants us to remain faithful to the gospel, remain faithful to one another, and to remain faithful to a loving God?  The love and message of Jesus Christ is what matters most.  That, my friends, is what makes us the church!   Let’s focus on putting Jesus and people first.  Let’s not put too much importance on the place and stuff around us.  Let’s not live in fear and uncertainty, but go forward with open hearts and minds.  

What if Jesus was really saying …” it is easy to confuse going to a church with being the church?”

May we learn from the past, may we find peace in the present, and may we look forward with joy to the future, as we remain faithful to a Loving God.

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