The View From 1776
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Advent Season
Advent is the time of preparing ourselves for Christmas to celebrate the coming of Christ Jesus for our salvation. It’s also a time for watchful awaiting the Second Coming.
For her sermon today at the Cohocton (New York) United Methodist Church, Rev. Karin Porch’s text was Mark 13:1-37. Her focal points were, first, a call to prayer for a new Great Awakening of spiritual awareness and a return to the principles of morality that shaped the formation of our nation, and, second, an awakened watchfulness for the spiritual arrival of Jesus this Christmas and for His return as depicted in the Book of Revelation.
“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 rumors 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.
“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong