Thursday, March 26, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015, Day 32

Daily Devotion for Lent

Thursday, March 26, 2015, Day 32

Mark 13:1-13 (NRSV)

As we read today's passage, we are reminded of the terrible destruction of the Temple in 70 CE under the Romans.  This was in retaliation for the Jewish revolt that occurred four years prior.

The historian Josephus wrote in The Wars of the Jews that 1.1 million people were killed during the final siege of Jerusalem (most of them Jews) and that 97,000 were captured and enslaved.

"Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem" by David Roberts

One can only imagine the carnage caused by the wholesale slaughter of people of all ages.  Mark's account of the Gospel at this time would truly reflect the importance of the resurrection in light of the persecution and suffering the people were encountering.

We can see how today's reading was important not only for that day but for times to come.

For instance, we can read the diary of a young Christian woman, Perpetua, who was killed in Carthage around 202 CE.

For Christians today in places like Iraq, ISIS continues to kill people for their beliefs, forcing many to convert or face the sword.

Here's a video from 60 Minutes that may make us read today's scripture with different eyes:

Prayer from Janet Morley:

O God,
you bring hope out of emptiness
energy out of fear
new life out of grief and loss.
As Mary returned to mourn
yet found unspeakable joy,
so comfort all who have lost their homes
through presecution, war, exile,
or deliberate destruction.
Give them security, a place to live,
and neighbors they trust
to be, with them, a new sign of peace to the world.

Prayer by Janet Morley, Christian Aid, 20th Century

"Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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