Keep Watch in the Present
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37New King James Version (NKJV)
The Coming of the Son of Man
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
The Parable of the Fig Tree
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
Sermon by Mandy Stanton
I wonder what you initial reaction was to the gospel reading today?
Perhaps “Oh no, not more doom and gloom!”, “What has this got to do with Christmas?”
This is a strange time, what with all the trampling of black Friday trying to get the latest gadget or a deal on a new tv, and the church is thinking about prophecy. Are we out of touch, or have no understanding with the general population? - Well maybe neither.
Music has an effect on us. In music there are two types of harmony; Consonance and dissonance.
Consonance makes us feel restful and to sit back relaxed.
Dissonance makes us sit up and pay attention.
The disciples must have sat up when they heard Jesus talk about destruction of the temple.
When the disciples came out of the temple, they started to admire the temple building. Jesus tells them it will all be teared down. It is difficult sometimes to work out the different meanings, the destruction of the temple was supposed to herald the end times. But Jesus says there will be many false signs, and wonders.
After this we read about the many events that lead up to the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.
Jesus was talking about his own body as a temple being teared down.
Years ago everyone believed the church, and many churches were being built left right and centre.
Nowadays people are all saying the church is in decline and people might be justified in believing the sayings “we’re all doomed” as Private Frazer from Dad’s army might used to say.
Bishop Julian has also set out his new mission for the diocese and many people might have also had the same thoughts when they read it. But the mission is full of hope and compel us to get out and do the things we are supposed to do. At this church we are blessed with people who want to help and get mission growing.
We are given the present. We need to focus on what we are doing right now. Terry Pratchett had a character who was temporary focussed.
We should not waste our time worrying about when the time of Jesus’ coming will be, or when something might happen. What matters is what we do right now. We need to make the most of the present.
Enjoy what is behind todays door.
There are online advent calendars and these just give us thoughts or surprises just for the day we are on.
Here is an example;
We are given God’s gift, gift of strength, and other gifts and we can give gifts away, but it says that Christ’s Words will never fade away and He will be in our past, present and future.