It is the twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig” (Ah, how fleeting, ah how insignificant).
Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 13:1-8:
The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, echoing Jesus’s words about how the temples with all be thrown down:
To hang one’s heart on earthly treasures
is a deception of the foolish world.
How easily searing lusts appear,
how the towering floods rush and rend,
until everything crashes into heaps destroyed.
. . . .
The highest glory and magnificence
is enveloped at last by the night of death.
Who enthrones himself just like a god
eludes neither dust or ashes;
and when his last hour strikes,
when he is borne to earth
and the foundation of his loftiness crumbles,
he will be completely forgotten.
Ah, how fleeting, ah how insignificant
are the doings of mankind!
Everything, everything that we see
must fall and pass away.
Whoever fears God will stand forever.
Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.