Endure The Darkness With Jesus
Topic: The Gospel of Mark Passage: Mark 13:1–13,
Apocalyptic is a revealing of a ‘way through’ tragedy, a way through the darkness and utter breakdown of life on earth. Jesus in today’s Gospel reveals for us a way through. That way, he says, is to endure to the end. “He who endures to the end will be saved.”
And what can that possibly mean for us? Tragedies happen. Life can get shrouded in darkness. Christianity is no pie in the sky theology. Life on earth is hard even if it is good. So, Jesus says endure. Endure the worst, and God will bring you through.
As we know from this side of the Cross, that is in fact what Jesus himself did. He endured the worst.
Beginning with Palm Sunday, we will walk with Jesus through this as we go through Holy Week. It is the most important week in the whole history of the universe. I encourage you to walk with Jesus in the Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer Services; walk with him through the Stations of the Cross; sit with him at table on Maundy Thursday; enter into darkness with him at the Good Friday Tenebrae service. Holy Week is hard.
Endure to the end and you will be saved. This is the message of Apocalyptic. This is the Word of the Lord to us this day. Endure the darkness with Jesus. He is with you.
Endure the swift and varied changes of this world. He is with you. Endure your own failings and those who fail you. Endure being a frail and fallen human being. He is with you.
Apocalyptic is an attitude of the heart which is simply a hanging-on faith in the face of utter misery. It is Job crying out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” It is Joshua proclaiming, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” It is a dying thief on a cross saying, “Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
“In this world,” Jesus said, “you will have tribulation.” In the darkness of that tribulation, sense his presence. Fix your heart there. He is with you.