November 28

Mark 13:24-31

“But in those days, after that suffering…Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.” vss. 24a, 26

It’s hard to believe that Advent is upon us. Four Sundays of preparing and then comes Christmas! And somehow Mark’s words seem particularly appropriate this year. They’re a part of Jesus’ apocalyptic message, and most years we don’t know quite what to do with them. All the symbolism seems dated, and besides, most of us aren’t looking for the end of time. We associate apocalyptic language with doom and destruction, a time when war and tribulation will sweep over the earth. But when we read this passage carefully we’ll see that Jesus intends these words to bring hope to his followers. Yes, it’s true, there are tough times here on earth, those moments when the nations tremble, and people are afraid. We’ve been moving through months of that fear and trembling, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and it’s still not over. But one day the suffering will be at an end and we’ll see unmistakable signs of Christ’s presence. God’s glory and power will be revealed and love will prevail. This year we really need to hang on to that hope–for our own country and for hurting, helpless people in every land. We’re in a crisis mode, and we seem to be making a big mess of things–but the suffering will end. It might not be this year, but the signs are unmistakable. Christ is here–love will triumph.

Thought for the Day: How will I be celebrating Advent?

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