Pondering for Sunday, November 14, 2021

Eucharistic New Testament Readings for Proper 28: Year B

Hebrews 10:11 to 25 and Mark 13:1 to 8:

“Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray.” (Mark 13:5)

Heaven knows we have had more than our share of what I call “Jesus-want-to-bees.”  We have had Jim Jones, David Koresh, any number of politicians (on both sides of the isle), plenty from the traditional preacher pool as well as a few from the lawyer and business brand.

I think sometimes we are just too easily led astray.  We need to know what to look for in leaders, be they spiritual, political, or just plain community leaders.  None of us are Jesus, nor will we ever be. I like leadership by consensus. This is where elected persons, representative of  all walks of community life, come together to work out reasonable solutions to problems as well as sort out productive ways forward for all in the community. With such a body of concerned people we would be as close as we could get to being Jesus. We would still miss the mark but it would be a good start.

We have to look hard to see even fair news in Mark 13.  But if we examine the words closely we will find some consolation. Jesus tells us, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come.” (Mark 13:7) It is the, “do not be alarmed,” part that we should pay attention to.  We must calm ourselves. No matter what happens in this world, God is still in charge and what we think is our end is not our end at all. To quote Yogi Berra, “ It ain’t over till it’s over.” But even this Yogism is turned upside down with God’s invitation into eternity. While Mark 13 seems all doom and gloom, there is guidance within it.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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