‘When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come, nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of the birth pains.’
Mark 13. 7-8
The earthquakes in Turkey and President Putin’s war to crush and destroy Ukraine have reminded me of the words that Jesus spoke before his departure. Jesus gave us a prediction, which has proved to be remarkably accurate over time. He spoke of the future of this world after his ascension, and it is not an overly optimistic one with regard to the way things are going to pan out.
The earthquakes and the wars that we have been witnessing over the last year strike at the roots of our sense of security in this world. The ground beneath our feet has been shaken and we feel far less secure. It seems that the COVID-19 Pandemic inaugurated a new era of escalating world instability, insecurity and chaos. I can only imagine how someone feels in Turkey as day by day they wonder if the ground is going to shake again. We too feel once more a renewed sense of cold war insecurity with the arrival of even more devastating nuclear weapons that have the capability to destroy us in just minutes.
Jesus instructs us ahead of time when he says ‘do not be alarmed’. His message both then and now is for us to find our security in him and in his gift of salvation rather than in any earthly power or strength. This world is passing away. It is our temporary residence and not our permanent home. As the apostle Peter put it we are ‘aliens and exiles in this world.’
Increasingly my faith, my hope and my sense of security are in Jesus Christ who alone can bring me safely through life and death. He is the one who has already raised my spirit from the grave and he is the one who will raise my body to new life with him in the world to come. In an out-of-control world, I find great comfort in my faith in Jesus Christ. He is the hope of the nations and he is my hope in what looks like an increasingly hopeless world.