Advent 1, Saturday, Year A

Inspired by Matthew 24:1-22

“As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.  Then he asked him, ‘You see all these, do you not?  Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’”  Matthew 24:1-2 (NRSV)

We look around at all the familiar monuments to our faith and culture, and we have difficulty imagining things could be any other way.  We have our religious buildings, our government landmarks, and countless statues proclaiming our national heritage.  We take our identity from these things, perhaps more than we realize.

But all these things were built from corruptible materials by human hands, and all these things will some day disintegrate and disappear.  What will happen to our identity then?

These familiar monuments can tell us something about where we came from and how our society understands itself, but they need not define us.  Our identity comes from the Lord God who created us, redeems us, and sustains us.  Our identity comes from the God of all creation who lovingly and intentionally fashioned us in his own image and calls us his beloved children.  Our identity comes from the One who was before all things and who will remain when all things come to their end.

Enjoy and appreciate those monuments that speak to your history or your present, but know that you were built of stronger stuff, and even if all those monuments were to be destroyed tomorrow, you would still be known and loved by the One who is everlasting.

Let us pray.  Eternal God, you gave us the ability to create great monuments.  Help us to recognize these monuments only point to the Creator of all, that we may put our faith in the One who will never fail.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.