What does it mean to live in a world that is “passing away”? What is solid and can be counted on to endure?
These are popular questions in our present time of rapid change, but they aren’t new. The disciples, in the face of Jesus impending death, looked to place their trust in the massive grandeur of the Temple, one of the largest buildings in the known world. In response, Jesus told them a time would come when not a stone would be left on stone. Jesus also told them that they would be persecuted and killed – not exactly “comforting” words. But Jesus was speaking truth, then – the Temple was destroyed less than 40 years after his death – and Jesus’ words hold truth now. Whatever we put our trust in, if it has been created by humans, it will fail. Only God endures. But God does not endure dispassionately, God endures in love and care.
Jesus continually focuses on the impermanence of this world, in contrast to God’s never-failing love and care. The “Good News” Jesus promised. Jesus is abundant life, even in the direst circumstances. It might not be what we expect or plan for, but it will hold blessings beyond what our limited sight can imagine.
It’s hard to think of abundance during times of economic instability, partisanship, and conflicts. But abundance is what Jesus has promised, more than enough.
Thank you to those who have stepped out in faith and gratitude in giving to support the work of this community in 2022. Thank you to those who have returned their estimates of giving for 2023. I invite those who have not yet returned your estimate of giving to step out in faith, in gratitude, and in expectation of God’s loving care.
Christians live with the dual charge of being called to make a difference here and now in our world, and to recognize that this world, and our place in it, is impermanent. We cannot shirk our responsibilities to those who are hurting, hungry or without housing, for Jesus tells us what we do for those at the margins, we do for him. At the same time, this world is not our “forever” home. We are not to cling too hard to this limited life, for we were created to spend eternity with God who created, knows, and loves us absolutely and without reserve.
When was a time when you were expecting the worst, but were surprised by a pleasant outcome instead?
How might the words of Jesus offer reassurance when you are faced with uncertainty?