This material was first published by Redemptorist Publications
and is included here with their permission.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46 v10a)
Picture in your mind a huge church building: St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or York Minster perhaps. Wonder at the scale of the buildings, the beauty of its architecture and windows, admire the carvings and altar frontals and sense the holiness that speaks of generations of prayer and praise.
Now imagine someone saying to you with great authority that this amazing building with all its beauty and holiness, all its symbolism and meaning is to be utterly destroyed leaving only rubble and nothing of the glory.
We would want to know how, when and why this was to happen. Will it be an earthquake, a crashing plane, rioting vandals, a terrible conflict or the act of a government or regime that will not tolerate any religious buildings, public worship or even personal belief?
Like the disciples, we might not get a reassuring reply. The destruction will be just one of many terrible things that will happen throughout the world. There will be much to suffer before time itself stops.
“Don’t be alarmed” says Jesus “this all has to happen”.
It’s hard not to be alarmed when nations and kingdoms rise up against each other, when earthquakes cause untold damage and destruction and famines bring suffering and death to thousands of men, women and children. We might want to pray words from Psalm 46.
Prayer (based on Psalm 46):
Lord God, be our refuge and strength, helping us in times of trouble. Protect us when the earth changes, mountains shake and the nations are in an uproar. Help us to be still and to know that you are God, our refuge and strength. Amen.