The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 59
That's great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs
Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter with a fear of height, down, height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the Furies breathing down your neck R.E.M. It's The End of The World As We Know It
As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ 2Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’How do we sleep when our beds are burning? When we don't know what is next.
3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?’ 5Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8For 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 birth pangs.
9 ‘As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. 10And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
14 ‘But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 15someone on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; 16someone in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 18Pray that it may not be in winter. 19For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. 20And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. 21And if anyone says to you at that time, “Look! Here is the Messiah!” or “Look! There he is!”—do not believe it. 22False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But be alert; I have already told you everything.
24 ‘But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in clouds” with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28 ‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’ Mark 13
when it seems as if the world is out of control life is out of control, people are carrying guns and shooting people, kids are being held in detention centers when they are just trying to escape violence and find family, young girls stab a friend, jobs are lost, houses are lost, family is lost, the pews are empty. I start singing my favorite end of the world songs.
The Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil
How do we dance when our beds are burning? What are we called to be and do in a world out of control? When we are seeking and searching for God and instead we find war and rumors of war? In this section of Mark's Gospel, we are told about the end of the line. About what to do next when the man we have followed seems lost to us for he will no longer walk beside us teaching and preaching, challenging and pushing? Instead we will have to go on, we will have to move forward one step at a time.
It's the end of the line. Mark, chapter 13, wants to prepare us for this time. Jesus speaks of some of the dangers that will be present in the future and what we should do. We are invited to continue sharing the word. We have read the word, we have listened to the word preached, we have experienced the word acted out in the signs and wonders, the stories and contact that Jesus made with all he encountered, and now it is our turn to spread the word. With the word to guide and strengthen us we to give shelter to the lost, the lonely, the hungry, the rejected, the outcast, the hurt, the despairing
We are to stay aware, stay awake, to watch for God's movement around us for new shoots are sprouting in dead trees. We are to keep alert, to watch for God and spread the word.
Spend time with your favorite apocalypse song. Ask God to show you where you need to stay awake and keep alert. Amen.