Readings for the 25 Sunday after Pentecost

Mark 13:1-13; Hebrews 10:11-25; Daniel 12:1-3

How much of life is spent waiting…for life to get easier? I ask that question sincerely, and as much to myself as to anyone else. Sometimes it seems we are living like greyhounds chasing that mechanical lure around the racetrack. The lure for us is the vision of a future time – a few weeks, or months, or years from now when life will finally settle down. Maybe we’re looking forward to more time with family, financial stability, better health, or less work.

I don’t find any promises in the Bible that our lives will ever get easier, at least not on this side of heaven. What I do see in Scripture – and particularly this week’s readings – is a pattern of problems and promises. “Yes, you will have problems”, says Jesus.  Wars, famines, earthquakes, and social upheavals are just a few examples. “But stay calm, stay focused, and trust my plan,” he says, “because those who endure will be saved.” (Mark 13) We find the same message in the Old Testament, where Daniel prophesies not only grave troubles, but eventually open graves! (Dan 12). Meanwhile Hebrews continues to hold up the promise of Christ as our great high priest, whose blood washes us clean and helps us to “stir one another up to love and good works” as we await the end of this present age. (Heb 10).