On the Home and Garden channel there are several programs that feature home renovations. People take an old house and make it into something new. After watching several of these programs the viewer comes to the conclusion that there are a few constants in home renovation. First, the renovation creates a mess. There are times when it appears that nothing good will come out of the process. The second constant is that the renovation always runs into problems—situations that threaten the entire renovation procedure. The only thing that assures us that the renovation will be completed is the plan created by the architect or interior designer. At the end of the show the results of the renovation are astounding.
Jesus spoke to his disciples about events that were happening around them and that would happen in the near future. His purpose was not to give his disciples conversation starters for when they came together. The disciples were not to spend their time speculating what Jesus meant by a comment or when they thought that something would happen. Jesus’ words were words of comfort. They were an assurance to the disciples that God had a plan. During the renovation of the world things would appear chaotic but the disciples didn’t need to fear. A plan had been set in place and the results would be truly fantastic.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we live in chaotic times. We are tempted to either lose hope or spend our time speculating on the outcome. Neither of these are helpful to lives lived in faithful obedience to God’s Spirit and service to others. Jesus’ words remind us that we can rest in God’s love and be at peace knowing that God has a plan.
Mark 13:1-8, 24-37
As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.
“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
"Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”