Includes Sermon Audio
26th Sunday after Pentecost
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth, he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed. 1 Sam 2:10
Ruth 3:1 – 5, 4:13 – 17
Song of Hannah
Hebrews 9: 23 – 28
Mark 13: 01 – 13
Collect of the day
O God, welcoming refuge for the outcast, and upholder of justice for the oppressed, maintain the hope of the poor, so that the time may soon come when no one need want for food and shelter, and all will learn to share freely following the example of your son, who gave his very self, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A thought to ponder upon – Mark 13: 1 – 13
Most probably still on the second full day of the Passion Week, as Jesus was leaving the Temple, the disciples drew Jesus’s attention to the massive stones of the temple. Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, confirms that they had reason to be impressed. Herod Antipas was still finishing the Temple his father, Herod the great, had begun. It was famous as one of the architectural wonders of the Roman world. Even today visitors to the Temple Mount can see the remains of some of these massive stones. But Jesus was not impressed. He predicted that the stones would be thrown down in judgement. The scene now moves to the Mount of Olives, from which there is a good view of the city and the Temple. The two pairs of brothers – Peter and Andrew, James and John – came to Jesus privately and asked him to elaborate on his comment. They were interested in when the destruction would take place and what signs they should be looking out for. Responding to their questions, Jesus launched into a great discourse about events that would happen, both the near and distant future. He starts by describing the beginning signs,. Which fall into three categories: imposters or deceivers purporting to represent Jesus, calamities of human origin such as wars and rumours of wars, and natural calamities such as earthquakes… and famines. Jesus told the disciples not to be alarmed by these events, for they are just the beginning of birth pains. Although these signs began in the first century, those living in the 21st century are no strangers to any of them. Imposters claiming to represent Christ are everywhere, deceiving the gullible. Alarming as these catastrophes are, children of the kingdom are enjoined “not to be alarmed” because these events do not signal the end of the age.
The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.