March 31st Lenten Devotional

Flee!

Wayne C Drueck

Mark 13:14-23

“…be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration…” (Mark 13:14 MSG)

When I was a kid we vacationed in Northern Wisconsin. There was a water pump in the center of the cabins. After returning from the dump at night to watch the bears my father would point to this shadowy object and cry “It’s a bear!” Every year it scared the bejeebers out of us and every year we fled in terror!

The advice Jesus gives in this passage is “Flee!” “…run for the hills; if you’re working in the yard, don’t go back to the house to get anything; if you’re out in the field, don’t go back to get your coat.” Flee!

Many people see this passage as predicting the end times but that is not entirely true. This passage is a classic example of the “now and not yet” nature of prophecy. The “now” part is that the Romans are gathering to ransack the Temple, the “Desolating sacrilege,” that hearkens back to Daniel. The “not yet” part is that Jesus cryptically hints that this is a harbinger of the end times. It is a dire message. Flee!

Yet, even in the middle of danger, God offers hope: “but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days.” (13: 20, NRSV) God tells us that even in the most frightening of days, it won’t last long. God’s presence and power will cut short the danger, tame the monster, and we will need to flee no more.

God, thank you for taming our monsters and cutting short times of fear with your comforting presence.”

Wayne C. Drueck is a retired UCC pastor, currently serving as Pastoral Liaison, St.
Stephens UCC in Merrill, WI.

©2020 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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