Destruction, Hope and Endurance: A Christian Perspective

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Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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As the disciples walked out of the Temple in Jerusalem Jesus paused with his disciples, looked back at the Temple and predicted, “Do you see all these great buildings. Not one stone will be left on another.” To the disciples this was impossible. Nothing could bring down these walls.(Luke 21. 5 – 19)

The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. Some weighed hundreds of tons!

The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area. Inside the four walls 45 acres of mountain was shaved flat.  A quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure.

You can then understand the disciples’ surprise.

What would be the sign that this terrible destruction was to take place? In their voice was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that their lives were about to change forever.

‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; … and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.’

But don’t fret, said Jesus. Really?

Jesus calls his followers to a different quality of response than the normal running about in a panic: “I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.”

While there may be no stopping the events that are to take place, there is One who joins us in their midst, and eclipses their deadly consequences.  It is important to remember, Jesus reminds the disciples, there is a God who is working through it all. “By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Endure, Jesus says.

What does endurance look like?

  • Don’t be afraid, have hope.
  • Be brave even when you can’t prepare for the future
  • Be prepared to act: Don’t prepare for your defence in advance; rely on God & God will give you words.
  • Discover hope for a future you don’t know
  • Hold on to the vision of God’s realm
  • Give up control: Today’s trouble is enough for today & We will lose much, but it won’t be as bad as we fear.
  • Don’t allow others to define the agenda of your fears.
  • Persist in doing good especially when you are afraid, or have been betrayed.  Persist even in the midst of suffering.

“By your endurance you will gain your souls.”

Jesus was right.  The temple was destroyed.  And still today, the world is a terrifying place.  The destruction caused by the typhoon in the Philippines reminds us.  But God persists.

And no matter what kind of challenges you face, what sorrows you bear, what destructive forces are at work in your life, don’t forget God is there.

The present, with all of its difficulty, is the time to turn to God.

‘Whatever happens, It is Not the End of the World,’ Jesus tells us. There are lots of things that will make you think it is, but it isn’t.

‘I am going to give you what you need to endure.’

Philippines Typhoon: Oakville News

Typhoon Haiyan – Cebu, Philippines; Photo credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection


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