Daily Archives: 12 November, 2012

Sunday 18th November (33B)

MARK 13:1-8
There’s a transitional stage
in childbirth –
unpredictable, painful, even frightening
when new life is on the verge
of chaos, disaster, even death
yet out of this painful, precarious event
comes life –
ever so fragile…

And so Jesus describes
the birthing of God’s realm of peace and justice:
chaos, disaster, even death;
false prophets;
wars, rumours of wars.
That hitherto greatest symbol of God-with-us,
the Temple,
destroyed
and amid disaster and dislocation
a symbol:
God-no-longer-with-us…

Not the end
but a beginning.
Events to come will make the present insignificant,
but not yet.
A time when Rome seems defeated,
but not yet.
A time when Rome will exact a price for defiance,
but not yet.
Size and strength count for little
in a realm of scattered grain or mustard bush.
God-among-us,
found in the frailty of human hearts and lives.

The birthpangs,
the transition stage,
unpredictable, painful even frightening.
Not the beginning of the end
but the beginning of a new beginning.

Advent approaches
with a reminder,
“Watch!”
not with fear and trepidation
but with hope, anticipation
and a spirit of discernment
for the ways of God’s realm breaking in
on our world:
God-with-us.
(Adapted from a sermon from some years ago, which may have drawn on material from other, long-forgotten, sources.)
        © Jeff Shrowder, 2012.
  More for Sunday 33B…