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Daily Devotional for August 26

August 26                                                             Mark 13:1-13

Throughout the ages people have loved to construct places
of worship, from great cathedrals and temples to simple one-
room chapels. To this day, we find that raising funds for new
buildings captures the imagination and loyalty of churchgoers
in countless congregations.

In today's passage we read of an unidentified disciple who calls
to Jesus' attention the magnificence of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus, though, is emphatic in his response that buildings are
not important. His teaching here is forceful, a message of
urgency, hard for many of us to hear. Like the disciple, many
of us prefer to focus on the beautiful sanctuary.

You must be on guard, Jesus says, lest you misunderstand the
dangers of the world. Not only will wars and earthquakes,
sickness and famine occur, but also deceit and betrayal,
hypocrisy and murder. The magnificent stones of the Tem-
ple will not help you to navigate the shoals your life will
encounter. As a disciple, this is what you must do: you must
spread the good news and take the consequences when power-
ful people try to silence you. You must stand firm in your faith,
no matter what your life brings.

We may say that Jesus' words reflect first century expectations
of the apocalypse and thus distance ourselves somewhat from
the teaching. But try to stay with the concept of discipleship
that Jesus had in mind. Ask God to strengthen your faith, and
then ask God to use you to bring the Gospel to one who needs
it. Let the Holy Spirit guide and give you words.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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