Pastor Cathy Daharsh
307 mass shootings in the US this year, a divided country, fires, hurricanes, poverty, and more. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting! Are these signs of the end of times? Sometimes it feels like that.
In this week’s gospel when Jesus talks about all the stones being thrown down and the temple being destroyed, it must have sounded to the disciples as if he was talking about the end. It’s a question that is asked even today. Whether there will be a sign of how long do we have? How will we know?
Jesus is not a whole lot of help on answering the disciples’ questions. He gives us a list of signs: wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nation, earthquakes, famines.
But then Jesus says, “Do not be alarmed, this must take place but the end is still to come.”
The end is still to come! Things will even get worse!? That is not what Jesus means. Think about it a different way. The end is not the wars. It’s not the last breathe someone takes on this earth, but, as Jesus says it’s the birth pangs.
Many of us know birth pangs from experiencing them, others from being with someone in labor or hearing someone tell about them. Yes, challenging and difficult and sometimes more than you can imagine; however, the birth pangs are not the end.
When a loved ones are in hospice, and family stands by their side in worry and concern, I talk to families about this being a time for their loved one to birth into new life. Just like with birthing a new baby we don’t know the exact day or time, but we do know new life comes after the challenge of the labor pains.
The world is in many ways a mess. As people of faith, we do not deny there is evil, but neither do we accept violence, fear, or hopelessness.
Our faith calls us to be hopeful, live for others, and believe in the resurrection of new life.
We pray and believe that new life will come in the midst of darkness and despair. Amen.