From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 25th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

Yesterday afternoon on a particularly lazy Saturday, we decided to take down our Halloween decorations. Now, you should be aware that our family isn’t exactly huge on any holiday (well maybe Christmas, but even then we don’t go all out), and if we were to have any kind of decorations, they will not be extensive by any means. They just serve the purpose of reminding us of what time of year we’re in and perhaps add a bit of fun to the holidays.

So our Halloween decorations really consisted of some fake spiderwebs along with fake spiders (and ants for some strange reason), some reusable wall stickers of a vampire, mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster (yes, it’s the monster, not the human Dr. Frankenstein), this yellow “danger keep out” tape, and this paper pumpkin that hangs from a string. All of that all localized on our stair’s banister. And that’s it.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the decorations. Well, I enjoyed them up until I almost tripped on that caution tape (which, if you remember, was on the stairs which makes a simple loss of balance a lot more precarious). But the kids? Well they LOVE the decorations. So when it was announced that they were coming down, there was a bit of protest.

To these kids, it was marking the end of a great period in their life full of fun, wonder, and free candy. For their parents, it was a changing of a season and allowing us time to get ready for the next one. For them, it was a sad thing to say goodbye. For us, it was time to move into different (and perhaps better) times.

It’s all about perspective around the same exact event. But the important thing to note is that it will happen anyway, so we might as well see the joy in it.

Here are the readings for next week:
Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25
Mark 13:1-8

We’re near the end of the church calendar year, and Jesus is sounding a bit morbid. This episode happens right after the widow in the temple story, you know the one who gives 2 copper coins to the temple treasury. And Jesus and his disciples are just walking out of the temple and the non-Jesus folk are marvelling at the wonders of the temple. They were in complete awe when Jesus just drops a bomb on them and tells them that it’ll be destroyed.

This temple, in all its culture and religious significance, will be destroyed. This building, in all its glorious feats of modern engineering, will fall. This time in history, in all its ancient nuances, will end.

At the time, this must have sounded horrible. But for us living in modern times way after the fact, we see why it was necessary.

And what if Jesus were to tell us that our time now will end? That the temples we have put up will be destroyed? That the structures and systems we put so much faith into will fall?

Will we be torn up about it? Will we try to resist the inevitable and hold on to everything we know them to be? Will we do everything we can to put a stop to it so we can life our lives just as we’ve enjoyed it for so long?

Or will we see the hope in the end of a flawed society that benefits a select few and make room for a new and mutually beneficial society? Will we see the good in the coming down of oppressive systems and the liberation of those who might have never known justice? Will we see God working even in death to bring out new and restored life?

The thing is, these things will be coming down whether they like it or not, so we might as well see the joy in it.

Thanks be to God! I hope you all have a great week!

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

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