simple white fading png image
notre dame montreal

Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B, Green

Opening Sentence

keep calm trust Jesus 

 
Collect Prayer
First Reading
Second Reading
Gospel Reading
Post Communion Sentence
Commentary
Meditation
Hymns
Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead
Intercessions from our Sunday worship
Sermons

Introduction

Whenever we hear news of a plane blown from the sky or another form of terrorist attack we immediately hear about calls for revenge. With social media we now receive immediate updates from each side through their official Twitter pages. It seems that we have instant attack and counter attack and news reporters are on hand to give us a blow by blow account of how the ensuing conflict is played out in loss of human life. Since there are so many parts of the world in military conflict with corresponding death and destruction, there is scarcely a day in which we do not hear about war and threats of wars. Never before were the words of Jesus so poignant

When you hear of wars and rumours 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.

Jesus knew what it was to live in a time of occupation of your country by another military power. He saw firsthand the cruelty, the crucifixions, the divisions of the people between those who collaborated and those who joined the resistance, the betrayals by family and friends and the harsh consequences in torture and crucifixions. Yet in spite of this Jesus never stopped believing in the the fact that God held all creation in his control. God's kingdom would not be stopped by any human power and although life seemed cheap, even the sparrow was precious in God's eyes.

The message of Jesus today is watch out, do not be alarmed. We are to be alert and watchful. We are to rely fully on God, and we are to live out the teaching of Jesus even as bombs, literal or figurative fall around us. We continue to care for our neighbours as ourselves, look after the widows, orphans, and those on the margins. as the world of Twitter and Social media brings events right into our own lives we go about God's business, refusing to panic. This is not a time for fear, Jesus bids us remain unafraid, and to confront the hatred, the suspicion, and the darkness of this present age. Now more than ever people need to hear the good news and need to find communities of faith where they are welcome.
These are not just the words of a motivational speaker. Jesus tells his followers that there is no need to worry, this is not because we need positive thinking, rather because he will be with us. We will encounter strife, but at such times Jesus calls us to trust and stand firm. Jesus calls us to have endurance and trust that he abides with us. When times of testing come, Jesus promises to give us the strength that we need. This is not a case of enduring through thick and thin and pushing ourselves along, this is a reminder that we are never alone.

Opening Sentence Psalm 1:1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Collect Prayer for the Day— Before we read we pray

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life: grant that we, having this hope, may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear in power and great glory we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.   Common Worship

Heavenly Lord, you long for the world's salvation: stir us from apathy restrain us from excess and revive in us new hope that all creation will one day be healed in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   Common Worship Shorter Collect

Eternal God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in justice and peace your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  Methodist Worship

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of the world. Free us from all that darkens and ensnares us, and bring us to eternal light and joy; through the power of him who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.  Methodist Worship

First Bible Reading Daniel Chapter 12:1-3

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

Second Reading Hebrews Chapter 10:11-14, 19-25

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Gospel Reading Mark 13: 1-8

As he 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 rumours 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. 

Post Communion Sentence

Gracious Lord, in this holy sacrament you give substance to our hope: bring us at the last to that fullness of life for which we long; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Commentary

Jesus must have wondered what on earth to do with his stupid disciples. Here they are in Jerusalem in the Gospel passage today behaving like spell bound tourists as they gaze at the wonder of the Temple building. We can perhaps understand that simple folk would be overwhelmed by the majesty of the temple. It would have been the most magnificent building they had seen by far. The Temple was twice the size of Solomon’s temple, construction had begun before Jesus was born and every year Jewish people from all over the world were still contributing towards the enhancements which were made. The exterior was covered in marble and gold to ensure that it gave the appearance of suitable place for God to inhabit.
However, Jesus needs his disciples to get beyond all of this. He has spent his time teaching them of the corruption and greed of the Jewish leaders and the system which they operated. Mark records that following the triumphal entrance into Jerusalem Jesus overturned the table of the money changers and those selling sacrificial offerings. Then he prophetically cursed the unfruitful fig tree which symbolised the temple. Such prophetic acts should have served to demonstrate the disgust which Jesus had for the Temple and all who supported the corruption of and exploitation of ordinary people. It was the religious authorities in Jerusalem who had promised to take Jesus’ life and he knows that this is not time for a sightseeing tour. Not only is his death imminent but the very structures of Judaism and the temple itself are about to be destroyed.

The apocalyptic language which follows shows Jesus using words to paint a picture which describes the impending fall of Jerusalem and its temple. These words from Mark’s Gospel have been described as a little apocalypse, in Revelation we see the full blown thing. They both use the genre of apocalyptic literature which was filled with mysterious signs, extravagant language, visions, cosmic events and descriptions of destruction. These are pictures and they truly say more than a thousand words.

Mark wrote at a time when these words would feel real to his listeners. The Roman Jewish War began in AD66 and there was war with Rome and tensions between the Jewish people themselves, such as the anger felt by the rebels towards priestly collaborators. Rome had problems itself with a political crisis involving several emperors in succession but in AD70 Vespasian’s son Titus brought 60,000 soldiers who broke down the defences of the city and instigated an almost unimaginable bloodbath. Thousand were killed and the temple was burned down and eventually gradually sacked.

Jesus is giving to his disciples a warning that these things will come. Jesus has already predicted his passion and death and soon he will feel the cruel blows of those who, threatened by his teaching, want him silenced. They must not become beguiled by the opulence of the temple or imagine that it is anything less than the product of a corrupt system of exploitation. They must trust that destruction of all they hold dear will come and in spite of all that falls down around them they must continue to trust and believe that God is still in control.

There have been those who have seen in the words of Jesus messages about the end of the world. At different times in world history such people have opted out of society and taken themselves up mountains to look for the returning Jesus riding a cloud. However these words are not meant to be used like that. They are words of encouragement in a time of great distress and persecution for believers. Jesus tells them decisively ‘Do Not Be Alarmed.’ The message is one of hope, there is to be huge destruction but despite the temptation to believe God doesn’t care, God does and he is with people. Appearances are deceptive, God can be trusted and believers should be encouraged and inspired.

The message for us is that we too in the face of whatever apocalypse we face, must continue to persevere, working with God to live in the way which Jesus showed. The words of Jesus teach us that we must not worry about or try to determine the "day and the hour" of his return. We trust that Christ will come and whenever that is it is for God to decided. In the meantime we do not down tools, rather we work to be Christ’s living presence in the world.

Mark needed to convey to the church the fact that this was not unexpected, Jesus himself had warned that this would be the case, and so they should continue to trust. In our times we face our own trials and tests as we live out our Christian lives. Our commitment to Christ can cause us discomfort and even suffering. The gospel encourages Christians to remain strong and faithful during such times of duress and assures us that Jesus will be revealed as the real King and Lord of creation. Those who keep faith will come to a final vindication of all we trusted in – but did not yet see in our lifetimes. Meanwhile, the message that sustains us in our extravagant and poetic readings today is that Christ is faithful and will sustain us in times that test our faith.

As we approach Advent, the first coming of Jesus at Christmas, it is a time when we also remind ourselves that Jesus has promised that he will return. We too like those first Christians can face difficult times. We face all manner of real difficulties, we deal with losses and endings each day. We can all experience the loss of someone close to us, ill health can strike us down, a marriage might break up or we might loose a job. When such terrible time afflict us, then we all find them hard to face. Yet in times of testing Jesus gives his instruction to us that we must live without panic.

It reminds me of the poster produced by the Ministry of Information in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It was intended to be distributed in order to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster. The posters were designed to have a uniform device, be a design associated with the Ministry of Information, and have a unique and recognisable lettering, with a message from the King to his people. An icon of a "Tudor" crown was chosen to head the poster, rather than a photograph. The poster's popularity has been attributed to a "nostalgia for a certain British character, unshowily brave and just a little stiff, brewing tea as the bombs fall.

The message of Jesus today is watch out, do not be alarmed. We could in the words of the poster say 'Keep Calm and Trust Jesus'

Keep calm trust Jesus

We are to be alert and watchful. We are to rely fully on God, and we are to live out the teaching of Jesus even as bombs, literal or figurative fall around us. We continue to care for our neighbours as ourselves, look after the widows, orphans, and those on the margins. as the world of Twitter and Social media brings events right into our own lives we go about God's business, refusing to panic. This is not a time for fear, Jesus bids us remain unafraid, and to confront the hatred, the suspicion, and the darkness of this present age. Now more than ever people need to hear the good news and need to find communities of faith where they are welcome.

These are not just the words of a motivational speaker. Jesus tells his followers that there is no need to worry, this is not because we need positive thinking, rather because he will be with us. We will encounter strife, but at such times Jesus calls us to trust and stand firm. Jesus calls us to have endurance and trust that he abides with us. When times of testing come, Jesus promises to give us the strength that we need. This is not a case of enduring through thick and thin and pushing ourselves along, this is a reminder that we are never alone. Charles Royden

 

Meditation

Just because people are religious does not mean that they are nice. The religious leaders at the time of Jesus were hell bent on killing him because he posed a threat to their power and wealth. Jesus wanted to bring down their entire religious system and was prepared to die in the process. Religion has always had the capacity to be extremely toxic and spread war and hatred. It’s not that religion itself does this, its just that as human beings we can use anything to perpetuate hatred. Those that have no religious faith can just as easily use ideology as a basis for death, seen across the world from Stalin in Russia to Pol Pot in Cambodia. But today Jesus wants to warn us specifically about religious people, not Markists. In the Gospel reading this week he warns us of those who come in his name seeking to deceive. ‘Watch out’ says Jesus, be on guard, most importantly be careful of those who speak pious words.

Hymns and Psalms

  1. Holy Holy Holy (Tune: nicea)

  2. There is a redeemer

  3. Beauty for brokenness

  4. Blessed assurance

  5. Rejoice the Lord is king (Gopsal)

 

Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead

I am two men; and one is longing to serve thee utterly, and one is afraid. O Lord, have compassion upon me.
I am two men; and one will labour to the end, and one is already weary. O Lord, have compassion upon me.
I am two men; And one knows the suffering of the world, and one knows only his own. O Lord, have compassion upon me. And may the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ Fill my heart and the hearts of all men everywhere. Used by Prebendary Austen Williams (1912-2001)

God of Life, help us to choose life, not death. God of Life, help us to respect, not destroy.
God of Life, help us to treasure, not control. God of Life, help us see our value, not in things, but in Your gifts.
God of Life, beat our swords into ploughshares. God of Life, beat are spears into pruning hooks.
God of Life, replace our shopping sprees with celebrations of community. God of Life, replace our busyness with contemplation.
God of Life, replace our "things" with Your gifts. God of Life, change our violence into Your peace.
God of Life, help us to choose Life, not death. Amen.

Let us pray that all men may learn to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, caring for justice more than for gain, and for fellowship more than for domination.
Let us pray that all may have the courage and the energy to think for themselves strongly and clearly, and to seek for the truth and follow it whatever the cost.
Let us pray for deliverance from prejudice and for a desire to appreciate what is just and true in the opinions of those who differ from us.
Let us pray that all may have the faith to believe that whatever is right is always possible, and that what is according to the mind of Christ is upheld by the limitless resources of omnipotence.
Let us pray that in ourselves and in others suspicion may give place to trust, and bitterness to goodwill; and that we may all become trustworthy, whether we work with hand or brain.
Let us pray that God will grant peace in our time, and give us abundantly of his Holy Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace. William Temple

 

Additional Material

Verse of scripture

'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' John 1:29

Collect Prayer for the Day—Before we read we pray

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life: grant that we, having this hope, may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear in power and great glory we may be made like himin his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Post Communion Prayer

Gracious Lord, in this holy sacrament you give substance to our hope: bring us at the last to that fullness of life for which we long; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Meditation

We who believe in Jesus Christ are aware that we are living between the time of Jesus' resurrection from the dead and the fulfillment of all things. We live, not in utopia, not in a cloud-cuckoo land, for we are aware of the pain and evil around us. The struggle against evil continues. But we know that the beginning of the end has come. Like the Allied forces in World War II, we have landed on the beaches of Normandy; the war is not over; there is still a costly fight ahead, but victory is certain; the end is in sight. We know that a new creation has been inaugurated. We know that something has happened in history which cannot be turned back. We know that we will still have to struggle against evil, but we know that the victory has been won. South African theologian and pastor John W. De Gruchy, Faith for a Time Like This(Cape Town: Rondebosch United Church, 1992)

The Agnus Dei (John 1:29)

O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.

Commentary

I really did intend to get cracking on some tidying up jobs in the garden some weeks ago, when the sun was shining and it was warm. Sadly this year events have overtaken me and now I realise I have little time left. The days are getting much darker and much earlier. I am now running out of time and I realise that soon it will be too late, Winter will be here and I will have missed my chance.

This reminds us all that Advent will be upon us in no time and we will light candles to remind ourselves that as the darkness of winter surrounds us God will be an ever present light in our darkness. The readings today use a type of writing called ‘apocalyptic.’ literary genre. We see evidence of this literature in today’s readings from the book of Daniel and from Mark’s gospel.

The Greek word ‘Apocalypse’ means ‘to reveal.’ Fantastic images and pictures are used which are not supposed to be taken literally. Sadly many cults have taken the pictures and numbers used in Apocalyptic writings and used them to make predictions about the end of the world. Many people have spent a great deal of time in speculation about the end of the world. Bits of scripture are analysed and ideas formulated about when the world will end and how God will rule over all. It's a bit of fun, although probably a long way wide of the mark, and so many dates have come and gone and we are all still here. We would do better to spend more time thinking about the kind of judgement which Jesus spoke about in our reading today, judgement of ourselves and our own generation -  not the end of the world.

Jesus spoke to his generation about judgement which would come upon them, and soon the Temple was brought down and Jerusalem was destroyed. Each generation is judged and we all are challenged and confronted by the gospel message of Jesus. When we look at our society and our own lives, what do we see? What is certainly true is that we reap what we sow. If our priorities are good ones, if our motives are true, then individually and collectively we will be blessed in knowing the peace of obedience. We do not become the elect by floating into the sky to meet Jesus, we do so by how we live our lives today.

However these images do have an important purpose to reassure and encourage believers that the world was safe in God’s hands. Jews living under persecution were reassured in Apocalyptic writing that God had not forgotten them and that he would reward those who were faithful. The message is true for us today as we witness world events which frighten and seem beyond control. Jesus uses this Apocalyptic imagery from the Book of Daniel to allude to a time of tribulation. The distress will be profound, even nature will go into chaos. At such times Jesus encourages Christians to trust in God. This is what ‘holding the faith’ is all about, living reassured that even in the chaos God has not abandoned us and that ultimately we will see him reign over all.

 

The Temple of King Solomon was destroyed in 586BC. Seventy years later, a second Temple was built on the same site and during the reign of Herod this temple was greatly enlarged and expanded. The Jewish Temple was the most beautiful building in the whole world, even though Herod had not fully completed building it. The Temple was enormous and imposing and it is understandable that the disciples would have been hugely impressed. The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. The largest existing stone, part of the Wailing Wall, is 12 m in length and 3m high, and it weighs hundreds of tons. The stones were so immense that neither mortar nor any other binding material was used between the stones. The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area, and a quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure. Jesus' prediction that a structure so immense would be levelled to the ground must have seemed implausible.

Understandably perhaps, Jesus did not like the Temple very much. He told his disciples that he came to serve and not to be served Mark 10:45, whilst in contrast Jesus saw the temple as representing those who wanted to be served. As the disciples wandered around admiring the place, Jesus bring them back down to earth with a bump and tells them that the whole thing will be destroyed.

Jesus prediction came true when 40 years later this Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD after the failure of the Great Revolt against Rome in which perhaps 1 million Jews died.
When the Romans had finished their destruction, only one outer wall remained standing. They would probably have destroyed that wall as well, but it was not even part of the Temple itself, just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount. In the early centuries after the destruction of the Temple, Jews were prohibited by the Roman authorities from entering the city of Jerusalem, and the customary place for mourning the Temple was the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the Temple Mount from the east. The wall is the most holy shrine of the Jewish world. The Jews were not allowed to come to Jerusalem until the Byzantine period, when they could come once a year on the anniversary of the destruction and weep over the ruins of the Holy temple. This is why it became known as the ‘Wailing Wall.’ This rather undignified name never won a wide following among traditional Jews; the term "Wailing Wall" is not used in Hebrew. During the more than one thousand years Jerusalem was under Muslim rule, the Arabs often used the Wall as a garbage dump, a humiliation to the Jews who visited it.

During the centuries in which the Muslims controlled Palestine, two mosques were built on the site of the Jewish Temple. This was a shrewd move for any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, so the Temple cannot be rebuilt. To this day, Orthodox Jews pray three times a day for the Temple's restoration. Of course for the Jews this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish world became the holiest spot in Jewish life. Throughout the centuries Jews from throughout the world made the difficult pilgrimage to Palestine, and immediately headed for the Kotel ha-Ma'aravi (the Western Wall) to thank God.


Western Wall 'wailing wall'
After the Six-Day War in 1967 the Jews emphasised "Western Wall," a reflection of the feeling that, with the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, there was no longer anything to wail about. Henceforward, the wall should be a place of celebration. One of the first to reach the Kotel in the 1967 Six-Day War was Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, who helped revive a traditional Jewish custom by inserting a written petition into its cracks. It was later revealed that Dayan's prayer was that a lasting peace "descend upon the House of Israel."

And so the passages today with their apocalyptic warnings should remind us of the lessons of history. Choose carefully the things which you admire, do not become beguiled by human beauty or greatness. Seek rather to be faithful and obedient and put your trust in God.

Meditation

" . . . there is a better understanding today that the mere accumulation of goods and services, even for the benefit of the majority, is not enough for the realization of human happiness. Nor, in consequence, does the availability of the many real benefits provided in recent times by science and technology, including the computer sciences, bring freedom from every form of slavery. On the contrary, the experience of recent years shows that unless all the considerable body of resources and potential at human disposal is guided by a moral understanding and by an orientation towards the true good of the human race, it easily turns against human beings to oppress them." True
Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 28

 

Commentary

"Not one stone upon another"

The readings today are a part of a particular kind of scripture that we call ‘Apocalyptic,’ scripture concerned with the end of all things as we know them and the coming of a new age, the coming of the Kingdom of God. These types of passages are frightening to some, others find an unhealthy fascination in them and love to predict that the end of the world is drawing near. They do this even though Jesus himself said that not even he, the Son, knew when the world would end. Have no time for such people, or their vivid imaginations which would be better satisfied watching the X-Files. It is the same part of human nature that forecast the end of the world in the year 2000, when all our computers were supposed to come crashing down and aeroplanes would fall from the skies. The same kind of people marched up mountains proclaiming that the Millennium meant that the end of the world was at hand. Great fiction but nothing to do with reality.

So what is the passage really about? Well, the Temple was fabulous, a treasured monument, the place of promise, the temple of Solomon rebuilt in glory, it was big, it was solid and important, a symbol of national hope and pride. The ancient world considered both Jerusalem and the temple in its heart to be magnificent. Dazzling white stone, intricate carvings, gold adornments, all made the temple building and its various courts a "wonder" to all, especially country bumpkin-types like most of Jesus' disciples. So along comes Jesus and says "You're impressed by this grandiose architecture? Well, there's not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble." Of course what Jesus said came true, the only parts remaining today are bits of the parts of the platform base, now seen in the Western or Wailing wall.

Jesus was giving his disciples a warning, preparing them and telling them that the world was a place in which there would be wars, earthquakes and famines. They should not be surprised or tempted to follow false leaders, or put their trust in anybody else.

So, what is important to you? What stones are we all tempted to admire and consider magnificent things? What is your most treasured belief? Your deepest hope? What gives meaning to your life? Or to the life of our nation? Of our world. Are they stones of wealth, of influence, of possessions, of accomplishment, of being loved? Imagine them as stones in the building Jesus and the disciples were looking at, a building containing thousands of stones, the stones which represent those things that we seek out, those things we turn to for a sense of permanence, for comfort, for peace of mind, all built into a building.

If we build our lives out of such stones then we will eventually find the whole thing come tumbling down. However if we place our trust in Christ we will have no need to worry in the face of adversity. A theme of ‘Apolocalyptic’ writing is that eventually all will be well, so be not alarmed, do not worry. The storms and quakes will come. The Agnus Dei (John 1:29) is a phrase which is sometimes said at communion services. It says, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.’ It does not say "Lamb of God, you take away the storms of the world" or "O Lamb of God, you take away the pains of the world" or "O Lamb of God, you take away the evils of the world."

So be warned by Jesus, the storms, the strifes, the quakes will come. However God is with us and Jesus promises to walk with us through the gathering clouds and storms of life, so that eventually all will truly be well. The temple made with hands will give way to a temple not made with hands: the community of faith built on the cornerstone of the Son, the true Stone (12:10-11). God will win in the end. The faithful will be redeemed. God is in control. So no matter how dark the skies become know that you are not alone and there is no greater friend than Jesus.

Prayers for Sunday

A Prayer for Children.

Dear Father and Mother of us all, maker of the light, keeper of our souls, we thank you for your warm presence, for keeping us safe, and taking away our fears. Help us remain close by your side, where there is peace and joy for evermore, we ask it in our brother Jesus' name. Amen

There is fear sometimes O God in many human hearts, even at times in our own hearts. There is aimlessness in the hearts of others, senseless excitements about the details of the end of time, about the signs that are around us, and yet they know not your peace. You understand the afflictions of the lonely, of those who have no one to draw close to. We pray especially today for these O God - that they may know your presence and see your power - and be consumed b y your glory and so find that which we all need. Shine your light, we pray, upon those we name before you in our hearts now, be it ourselves, or a friend or neighbour.

Govern all by thy wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving thee as thou dost will, and not as I may choose. Do not punish me, I beseech thee, by granting that which I wish or ask, if it offend thy love, which would always live in me. Let me die to myself, that I may serve thee; let me live to thee, who in thyself art the true life. Amen. Theresa of Avila

O God in heaven, have mercy on us! Lord, Jesus Christ, intercede for your people, deliver us at the opportune time, preserve in us the true genuine Christian faith, collect your scattered sheep with your voice, your divine Word as Holy Writ calls it. Help us to recognize your voice, help us not to be allured by the madness of the world, so that we may never fall away from you, O Lord Jesus Christ. Albrecht Durer (1471-1528)

And now, Serene Son of God, whose will subdued the troubled waters and led to rest the fears of the people, let your majesty master us, your power of calm control us; that for our fears we have faith, and for our disquietude perfect trust in you; who live and govern all things, world without end. John Wallace Suter (1890-1977), Dean of Washington Cathedral