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Here today, gone tomorrow

Built on a Rock
Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, St. John Lutheran Church, Luverne

Here today, gone tomorrow: It is an unpleasant fact of life. The things we have today could be gone tomorrow. The people we know and love are here today, but could also be gone tomorrow. Even ourselves, as much as we avoid the issue, are here today, gone tomorrow. This is a reality made worse by our tendencies to deceive ourselves into thinking that the ways things are now are how they will always be.
Consider Mark, chapter 13. Some of Jesus’ disciples were talking about the temple and how beautiful its noble stones appeared. One of Jesus’ disciples says, “Look, teacher! What wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” How could one not be impressed with a massive structure of marble stones weighing hundreds of tons? It was covered with plates of gold that in the morning reflected the fiery rays of the sun so that one could not look directly at them. This was the holy ground upon which the people sacrificed to God and the very place where God promised to meet his people. If ever there was an institution or a constant in life that people thought would never change, it was this wondrous temple.
Jesus’ response must have really surprised his disciples. He said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” It was unthinkable that Herod’s temple would be destroyed! The disciple asked, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”
Jesus doesn’t answer directly, but tells them what will take place in the intervening years. He prepares his disciples for persecutions and hardships. Why? So that their hope and trust would not be in the things of this world, that are here today and gone tomorrow, but on eternal things.
Even though we do not share the same struggles as the disciples, we live in the same fallen creation in which they lived. There continue to be false Christs, wars, rumors of wars, and natural disasters that test the faith of the masses. Satan and his agents in this world constantly attack our beliefs. Where can we find refuge and sanctuary in this wicked world? The answer is the same place the disciples did, in Jesus, who is not here today and gone tomorrow, but with us always.
Just think, this disciple was impressed by Herod’s temple while, all along, conversing with the perfect temple of God: Jesus, who said about himself, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days!” Later that same week, Jesus’ words came to pass. He sacrificed himself for the sins of the world. They hung him on a cross and destroyed him, but on the third day, he rose again victorious over sin, death, and Satan.
Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection reconciled you to God, your sins are forgiven. Put your trust in him.

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