Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

@Mazda_6_The_Anti-Christ_Choice

@Mazda_6_The_Anti-Christ_Choice (Photo credit: MATEUS_27:24&25)

Roman Empire Apartment

Roman Empire Apartment (Photo credit: Rennett Stowe)

The End is Near! The End is Near! 100212

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms%205&version=MSG

Zechariah 8:18-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zechariah%208:18-23&version=MSG

1 John 2:18-25 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%202:18-25&version=MSG

The End is Near! The End is Near! 100212

1 John 2 warns that the end is near and we can know it. We can know it because of all the anti-Christs in our world. That’s how it is—between easy money, easy women (sorry, ladies), easy drugs and liquor, easy ‘entertainment’ and generally a pursuit of all that fits within one’s definition of easy living.

But why in the 1st or 2nd century did the gospel writer of 1 John refer to all their ‘anti-Christs’? They didn’t have TV, radio, books, the internet and all the temptations we face. Marriage and family were not faced with the violence of pornography, drugs and alcohol, over=consumption modern life and modern war and death. What anti-Christs did they face?

At the time in the Mediterranean region (also known as ‘the world’ or ‘the Roman empire‘), Israel and Judah were not anymore simply the nations God had blessed. Instead, they began to forget God, and to follow the commercialization of their agriculture. Even Nazareth, a small muddy or dusty town, could not escape being part of the Roman empire’s economy. A tax collection guard house was even there to tax traveling farmers and tradesmen. As it evolved, one could no longer just stay home and tend one’s fields, vineyards and animals as a good shepherd. Instead, one had to work hard, be crafty, and accumulate enough wealth to buy out one’s neighbors, farm their land and become an important person, in continual, maddening search to be the most important and wealthy—to wear fine garments, eat from fine imported dishes, and to hire one’s former friends for cheap labor on one’s new farms and orchards. And the Roman empire ‘required’ this approach to all of his life. As the poet Robert Frost once said ‘Eventually, everything comes to the marketplace’.

When all of this happens, to those in Jesus’ time and in our own, this passion for money and success rose up, like a defeated politician, or like a zombie and as the center of life, became anti-Christs.

But now we could say ‘They had it easy’. Compared to the peasants of 1st Century Israel, our time is nearly complete and made of ant-Christs. It is strange, but people in our time have become too busy to worship God, to follow God’s commandments and to live as a disciple of Christ. And worship must be advertised properly to draw a crowd and be adequately entertainment.

Think about what this does to us, and to the earth, and pray for peace. The end is near!

Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

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We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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Psalm 5

Zechariah 8:18-23

1 John 2:18-25

Psalm 5

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

5 1-3 Listen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
you’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend.

4-6 You don’t socialize with Wicked,
or invite Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front of you;
you shake your head over Mischief-Maker.
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
Blood-Thirsty and Truth-Bender disgust you.

7-8 And here I am, your invited guest—
it’s incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
to get me safely through enemy lines.

9-10 Every word they speak is a land mine;
their lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Pile on the guilt, God!
Let their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had their chance.

11-12 But you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
for decking us out in delight.

Zechariah 8:18-23

The Message (MSG)

18-19 Again I received a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

The days of mourning set for the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will be turned into days of feasting for Judah—celebration and holiday. Embrace truth! Love peace!”

20-21 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

People and their leaders will come from all over to see what’s going on. The leaders will confer with one another: ‘Shouldn’t we try to get in on this? Get in on God’s blessings? Pray to God-of-the-Angel-Armies? What’s keeping us? Let’s go!’

22 “Lots of people, powerful nations—they’ll come to Jerusalem looking for what they can get from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, looking to get a blessing from God.”

23 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

At that time, ten men speaking a variety of languages will grab the sleeve of one Jew, hold tight, and say, ‘Let us go with you. We’ve heard that God is with you.’”

1 John 2:18-25

The Message (MSG)

Antichrists Everywhere You Look

18 Children, time is just about up. You heard that Antichrist is coming. Well, they’re all over the place, antichrists everywhere you look. That’s how we know that we’re close to the end.

19 They left us, but they were never really with us. If they had been, they would have stuck it out with us, loyal to the end. In leaving, they showed their true colors, showed they never did belong.

20-21 But you belong. The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it. I haven’t been writing this to tell you something you don’t know, but to confirm the truth you do know, and to remind you that the truth doesn’t breed lies.

22-23 So who is lying here? It’s the person who denies that Jesus is the Divine Christ, that’s who. This is what makes an antichrist: denying the Father, denying the Son. No one who denies the Son has any part with the Father, but affirming the Son is an embrace of the Father as well.

24-25 Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life!

 

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Comments on: "The End is Near! The End is Near! 100212" (2)

  1. How would you describe or define “the antichrist”?

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