Reading scripture typographically shows us that God often does things twice, and that they’re always better the second time. Christ coming to earth was even better than His people simply being allowed to return to Jerusalem after captivity and exile. And Christ’s second coming will be better still.
Thus we arrive at the common thread from yesterday’s readings: the promise of God’s ultimate justice. The request for God’s intervention in the psalm, the prophetic message about the state of God’s people and the promise of Messiah in Isaiah, and the reflection on salvation teachings in the letter to the Hebrews – all these serve to remind us that God’s justice will be great… and final.
This justice is good. It is not a fiery warning to those who wait on God, but a warning to those who do evil against humanity. After what happened in Pittsburgh this weekend, we see no shortage of it at present. Yet we wait upon the Lord.
Nevertheless, in Hebrews, we saw Paul (or another author) admonishing the Jewish Christians to move beyond teachings on salvation. There are other things to learn… other things we must do. We are to be Jesus’ hands and feet. We are to accept that God’s answer to our problems has a human component.
For this, our Gospel reading from Mark provides a great contrasting example in Bartimaeus, the blind beggar with full awareness of his ailment. As he had the confidence to approach Jesus with his request for sight, let us so boldly approach God’s throne. Let us ask for what we need to leave this earth better than we found it.
And remember, He is always going before us, making our paths straight with all power and authority.