Mark 13:13

and you will be hated by everyone because of me. Yet the person who endures to the end will be saved.

for goodness sake
your goodness
learned from others
only carries you
to the edge of suffering

past suffering
to a further shore
there is no being carried
as we are stripped
until alone we are
for goodness sake

Mark only uses the word ὑπομείνας (hupomeinas, “one who endures”) once but it is a key to the rest of the story that has a promise of suffering and death hovering over it. Will the beginning of Good News find that it really is a start or will it come to no good end?

“Will you endure with me?” is a continual question Jesus raises with both his partner disciples and his partner G*D. In response to this question there is running away and silence.

It is this sort of question that keeps the travails listed in this chapter from becoming mere apocalypse and opens the possibility of there being an eschatological significance to this journey to Jerusalem. It is through an endurance of trust that we find our way, not our relative moral superiority to another.

Wright180reminds us of endurance as a virtue, in and of itself.

Jesus told us we would need patience to hold on and see the thing through. We should not be surprised if we are called, through whatever circumstances, to practice that virtue—however unfashionable it may be in our hurried and anxious world.

This will echo Paul in Romans 5:2–4:

We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (CEB)

Endurance is a word well-suited to the kind of intentional wilderness wandering in which the Israelites and Jesus were tested. It is an essential element to allowing an involved detachment that comes at today’s problems from the perspective of tomorrow’s Good News. Endurance gives a way to measure how today’s disciples are doing.

As democratic processes around the world are being tested by varieties of fascism, this ancient virtue becomes critical to coming through another beginning—a beginning of a next darkening age.

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