On Friday here in Canterbury, the Christmas lights were switched on heralding the Season of Shopping, helped by all the extra shopping booths erected in Whitefriars and in St. George’s Street.
In the Gospel this weekend, the signs heralding the coming of the Son of Man are that,
“the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken”.
Jesus is telling his disciples both, about the destruction of the Temple in AD70, and also that we are in the last age, but we do not know the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of man.
Also in the last two weeks, those gathering in Glasgow have deliberated and sorted ways to prevent the destruction of our planet through selfish use of fossil fuels.
For me the questions are :
- How am I to live now?
- What are my priorities?
- What is most important for me?
Reflecting on death, and the end of time, and the demise of our planet, helps us to have a sense of purpose and strengthens our understanding of why I am here. Now is the time and now is the hour.
We are reminded to change and in various ways be prepared. We are called both to look to the future but at the same time to love and live fully in the present.
The evangelist Mark was writing at a time when the Christians were experiencing persecution. The words we read were written to give them hope and sustain them.
We need to hear the message of hope today amidst the chaos and violence that we read about and and see and sometimes experience in our own lives. Here is a good prayer for today.
Your creation, O God,
runs its appointed course,
as from the ends of the earth
you gather a people you call your own.
Confirm us in the strength of your abiding word.
Steady our hearts in the time of trial,
so that on the day of the Son of Man
we may without fear rejoice to behold his appearing.