Track 2 lectionary is shown below but Track 1 is the Song of Isaiah, a favorite hymn. So for this week, the focus is the confidence this Song elicits, that God saves us, that we should shout this to the rooftops, and it sustains us in life. The remaining scripture points to life’s places that this First Song of Isaiah will uphold us. From Malachi, we are confident in the resurrection. From the psalm, we happily sing to the Lord and trust in his goodness. Thessalonians reminds us that we work for the Lord. And from the gospel of Luke, we are confident that we will come through the trials as God’s own.
Post your thoughts on our website.
. . . They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he [Jesus] said, “Beware that you are not led astray; . . . When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” . . . and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. . . . But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; . . . This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. . . .”
From sermon4kids.com: “There are some people today who think that they can see into the future. They may say some frightening things, but we need to remember what Jesus taught his disciples. “Don’t worry!” he said. “Not a hair on your head will be harmed. You will be saved by being faithful to me.” ”
Collect: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection: Jesus speaks of wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famines, and plagues, but instructs his followers, “Do not be terrified!” How does our witness to the gospel include resistance to our natural impulse to be terrorized by evil? Have you ever suffered persecution as a Christian because you refused to go along with social pressure to be fearful of enemies, terrorists, criminals, illegal aliens, or other pariahs? [Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year C, Volume 2 © 2013 Westminster John Knox Press]
Practice: What helped you through your “terror”? (see Reflection above) If you wish, post your comments to our website.
Contemporary Parables: “The Fifth Element” (1997), really quirky film with great moral; “The White Ribbon” (2009), “strange events in Germany before WWII”; “The Giant of Thunder Mountain” (1991), “children befriend a gentle giant”
Image: Naive drawing in the style of of an ancient map of Jerusalem, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55326 [retrieved November 13, 2019]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46811478@N03/6300357781/.
Saint Focus: Gregory Palamas was a theologian, a foremost supporter of hesychasm, or theory of contemplation—with proper meditation and contemplation, one will see the light of God. Read about him to get further information on how one can “know” God and yet God is “unknowable”.
This week, the saints under consideration were :
- 14; The Consecration of Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1784
- 14; Gregory Palamas, Bishop & Mystis, 1369
- 15; Herman of Alaska, Missionary, 1837
- 16; Margaret, Queen of Scotland, 1093
- 17; Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231, AND Hugh of Lincoln, Bishop, 1200
- 18; Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
- 19; Mechtilde of Hackeborn & Gertrude the Great, Mystics, 1298 & 1302
- 20; Edmund, King of East Anglia, 870
Read the gospel again. What resonates with you? What troubles you? Do you think the disciples realized that Jesus was talking about them? If you choose, post your thoughts on our website.
As the church year ends, the liturgy turns our attention to the fact that the world is also moving towards its end. The gospel reading today is from the last portion of Jesus’ teaching according to Luke. This “apocalyptic” teaching was central to Jesus’ message and was a common theme in first century Judaism. God will come and bring all creation to its conclusion in the establishment of the Kingdom. The good news is that whatever tribulations occur in the end times, God is always present and will preserve all the redeemed into eternal life.
The first reading is the conclusion of the final Old Testament prophetic book. It foretells the coming judgment when the Kingdom will be established. The final sign will be the reappearance of Elijah. Jesus, in telling his followers that in John the Baptist Elijah has come (Matthew 17:11-13), is announcing that the End has begun.
The reading from II Thessalonians tells first century Christians how they should live in the end times. In particular, Paul has no patience with those who stop working or ministering in anticipation of the end. The church proclaims that in Christ’s death and resurrection the end has begun.
We are living in the end of time. In the Eucharist, in particular, we are already being met by Jesus, our loving, saving judge and are taken into his Kingdom. In the Eucharist, he comes “again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” It is our knowledge that we are living in the end of the ages that gives Christian living its character, impelling us into worship and into ministry in the name of Christ.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.