Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Apocalypse Again 112611

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The Third Day of Advent

 

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Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Micah 2:1-13

Matthew 24:15-31

Apocalypse Again 112611

Humankind lives in fear of a great and tragic apocalypse. Disasters, wars, floods, earthquakes and calamities are beyond the normal violence of annual weather extremes. I don’t know why humankind fears disasters of great magnitude. They have not occurred for centuries or even for millennia. But humankind, including me, have nightmares and visions of an end to time, and an end to the world.

Matthew seems to be describing such a terrifying time, when evil in the world becomes too much and the apocalypse comes.

This verse foretells the coming of the Messiah, but today is also the third day of Advent, when we prepare for the coming of the Messiah on Christmas. This is the Messiah who is to save us from this apocalypse, and end brought on by our own evil.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Micah 2:1-13

2Alas for those who devise wickedness and evil deeds on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in their power. 2They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and take them away; they oppress householder and house, people and their inheritance. 3Therefore thus says the Lord: Now, I am devising against this family an evil from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time. 4On that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, “We are utterly ruined; the Lord alters the inheritance of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors he parcels out our fields.” 5Therefore you will have no one to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord.

6“Do not preach” —thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.” 7Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Lord’s patience exhausted? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to one who walks uprightly? 8But you rise up against my people as an enemy; you strip the robe from the peaceful, from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. 9The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away my glory forever. 10Arise and go; for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction. 11If someone were to go about uttering empty falsehoods, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” such a one would be the preacher for this people!

12I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will gather the survivors of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture; it will resound with people. 13The one who breaks out will go up before them; they will break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass on before them, the Lord at their head.

Matthew 24:15-31

15“So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 17the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; 18the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 20Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ —do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25Take note, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. 29“Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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