Scripture: Mark 13:1-8 (NLT)
As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, "Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls."
Jesus replied, "Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!"
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, "Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?"
Jesus replied, "Don't let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah.' They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
Looking around us, we are aware of what we have and what we are lacking. We know all of this, and we want more.
Glancing over at our neighbors, we see what they have, imagine ourselves having it, and almost without fail, we STILL want more! We look at the world around us, see the current state of our reality, and YET, we want more.
We are like Hannah, looking at Peninnah with her sons and daughters and wanting what she has. But if our gifts come from God, all our gifts, how much stronger should we be when we are tempted by the murmurs of our hearts desires?
I am not saying don't pray for more. I am inviting us to consider a somewhat "new" way of praying. Let's ask God for what we need in the coming days, rather than what we want. Let us ask God for the best of God's love and not the next big toy.
Holy Spirit, seer of all that is to come, knower of all that I can't even imagine, I am forlorn in my desires for more. I am looking around me, and I want what others have. God, I speak my truth when I say I want and want and want. Creator, turn me from what I want and give me what I need. Nurturer, I ask…give me more of YOU. Amen.
co-pastor of Manantial de Gracia "Spring of Grace" in West Hartford