Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bethany Bullet - November 10, 2009

Look at these massive stones,
Look at these magnificent buildings.

If we were to read the appointed Gospel for Pentecost (the 23rd Sunday), Mark 13, without any background it would sound like we’ve entered a Holy Land tour. “Look at these massive stones, look at these magnificent buildings.” This is field trip talk, “Wow, look at that would you!”

We would be wrong to hear the disciple’s words as awe over what they saw.

Jesus and His disciples have just escaped traps set by the Pharisees and Sadducees in an attempt to humiliate Him. While those attempts failed, the plots have moved on from humiliation to homicide, by this time the leaders of the church are determined to kill Jesus.

The context of this passage records how the disciples experienced the joy of seeing Jesus greeted by the heroes of the past, Moses and Elijah, and as the hero of the present when he fed 4000. They heard the crowds call Jesus the Son of David, and they themselves declared Him to be the Son of God. Now, one short chapter later, everything has changed. Jesus, who was lauded, has now been labeled. He had been welcomed with ticker-tape by the crowd in Jerusalem and now He has been targeted for death by the leaders of the church. The disciples had to be looking for security; hence they turn and say, “What massive stones, what grand buildings.”

Like them, we too desire security. In our world security sells. Five-star crash ratings, side impact air bags, crumble zones, and tires that run for miles after being punctured; home systems linked to call centers that will send armed response if needed, alter buttons on the end of necklaces that will send medical response when necessary – at a cost all of these afford a measure of security.

Jesus told the disciples, “A day is coming when not one of those stones will stand atop another.” Seemingly security can be taken away in a verse. We know that though, don’t we?

  • One stray bullet, they don’t only fly in sparsely populated, poorly lit alleys: hospitals, high school football games, military bases on homeland soil have all witnessed security toppled in an instant.
  • One drunk driver, they don’t only land in ditches, they’ve been known to cross the center lines or running the red lights.
  • One positive test from the lab, one poor quarter for the company and walls of security can come crashing down.
  • One verse and everything can be changed.

We could go on but we don’t need to, do we? We all know that security is a premium but it is never full proof.

So where do you turn? Do we turn to magnificent buildings and massive stones? NO, we turn to The Stone the builders rejected.

Now common sense, personal responsibility and even Christian stewardship will compel us to seek and provide security for our family, our health, our finances, our relationships – but ultimate security, a rock solid security, eternal security cannot be purchased, but it can be had freely, in The Stone the builders rejected, Jesus Christ.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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