Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost November 15, 2015
When? What Signs?
“Lord, come for your world!” We hear those words from our grand-parents as they see the signs of the times, as they call it.
Jesus goes to the temple for the final time and predicts its complete destruction. One of the disciples asks Jesus if he sees the massive stones and the magnificent buildings. Jesus tells him that not one stone will be left upon another; every one will be thrown down. Seated on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew ask Jesus when these things will happen and what will be the sign.
Jesus does not satisfy their curiosity but gives them guidance as to how they are to conduct themselves. Words of warning concerning deceivers and seducers. They must also be careful how they interpret the signs of the times. Be not deceived by those who will claim: “I am he” (Mark 13:6). The noise of war and rumors of war must not be a distraction, for these things must happen, and you must prepare for the worse. Even mother nature will create some cause for fear. Even as this reflection is being written, earthquakes and avalanches have claimed more than five thousand lives. Wars and rumors of war are on every media source. Certain messianic woes will precede the end of history as it is now and the beginning of the reign of God. Convulsions in the natural world and violence in the social world.
These crises are not the end, but the beginning of the birthpangs. A baby will be born. The people of God must be aware of the signs of the times and be prepared to interpret for the world the broader picture of the wonderful thing that is to be revealed.
Frank Barker, pastor, Palm Beach Moravian Church, West Palm Beach, Florida