This week's readings:
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Today I led a reflection on these readings for a meeting, based on the gospel reading. I think this will be my starting point for Sunday - which also needs to bring in Remembrance! :
We are caught between realism & the hope of the gospel.
Jesus says to his followers quite clearly – don’t get carried away by the splendour of the temple – the fine stones and ornaments. Don’t put your trust in your fine building – because it won’t last. In fact, the Temple was destroyed by the Roman army about 40 years later – but even if that hadn’t happened, it would be hardly be as good as new, 2,000 years on – buildings can’t last.
So if we can’t put our trust in buildings, in solid bricks & mortar, what can we trust? People?
Jesus says “Take care you are not misled. For many will come saying ‘ I am he’ and ‘the time has come’. Do not follow them”.
So however charismatic a leader, or whatever the claim they make for themselves, we mustn’t put our trust in other people, either.
No, Jesus says, when you’re really up against it, when you’re seized and persecuted and made to stand up in court to defend yourselves “I myself will give you such words and wisdom as no opponent can resist or refute”. God’s Spirit, given by Jesus, will be what saves us when we face the ultimate test.
We can’t and we shouldn’t trust buildings or people: but we can trust God – the power of God the Father, given by the Son through the Spirit: God is what we can always rely on.
That doesn’t let us off the hard wrestling of ‘what are we to do?’ – but it helps us to frame the question in a new way ‘What would God have us do?’.