Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs. ~ Mark 13:5-8
Apocalyptic literature has been used over and over again to predict the future, often to misguided and sometimes tragic results.
But here in Mark, Jesus makes a caution to his disciples that is one to get behind even if we aren't worried about the end of the world.
Or even "Be Aware."
Be aware of leaders who offer quick fixes and scapegoat groups of people for complex problems.
Be aware of those who use violence are a primary solution.
Be aware of those who lie to get their way.
And be aware of all of the ways in which we forget we belong to God. And that others belong to God as well.
Help me to keep my eyes opened and my ears attuned to your work in the world, Lord...even when fears distract me. Amen