The temple in the time of Jesus was the ultimate place of God, some believed it was where God dwelt. They were admiring its magnificence, adorned in the best of the best to honor God. It must have felt like a special place, like those grand Cathedrals in Europe. People travelled a long way to be able to make their sacrifices to God there.I wonder if for the people it was the sign of the achievement of making God happy.. I wonder what things we have now that for us is the place where God dwells? Or the things we hold onto that make us feel like we have made God happy? In this moment of overwhelming awe at what the temple is Jesus breaks the bad news. The connection to God that you have on this earth is going to be destroyed and not just a little bit but it is going to be decimated.. As if this isn’t enough Jesus goes on to tell them the world is going to go into chaos it will look like it is all going to end! But before that happens you will be arrested and find yourself before great and powerful people needing to explain yourself.. But don’t worry..
I have the REM song going on in my head, it is the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine! I don’t know how things are going in your church at the moment but there is a lot of doom and gloom around. The temple that was has been knocked down almost to a point where it is not recognisable and the world is in a very scary way..Global warming, terrorism, wars, famine, then we have our leadership, it is hard to know who to trust and it doesn’t feel very promising.
But Jesus says don’t worry, don’t even prepare for it I will give you the words to say and it will be ok because by your endurance you will gain your soul. Jesus never promised it would be easy, he was also a big fan of not worshiping idols, but worshiping God. As people I think sometimes it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking if we just do this or go here we will make God happy. What makes God happy is a relationship with God, us being friends and making time with God, our lives being a living sacrifice.
I was thinking this week what if every Christian saw themselves as missionaries, more so light givers. That God had put them where they were to share the Good news of God to the people they are part of. What if the time and energy we invested into buildings and projects we invested in praying and seeking from God how to speak the good news to the people right beside us.. I’m not talking about speaking the formula, let me tell you about Jesus. I’m talking about the genuine knowing who people are and what of the Good news speaks to them.. That means we need to start with what does the Good news mean to me?
Things might be scary at the moment and it might be really easy to lose hope, but there is hope. Whether it comes to you as it did me through a woman soldier on the ground fighting ISIS, not afraid because she knows she is part of something so much bigger. Or my friend who has dilligently fought to have bottle and cans recycled and plastic bags banned in our State. Let us not quit at the overwhelming darkness. Jesus told us this would come, as it has for generations before us, but let’s be the people of light who will not stop believing in the impossible and putting it into action. Shine people Shine!