Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 15, 2009

Scriptures for November 15: 1 Samuel 1:4-20, 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18), 19-25; Mark 13:1-8
Songs: O God, Our Help in Ages Past – UMH 117; Come Thou Font of every Blessing – UMH 400; The Family Prayer Song – TFWS 2188

The Bible is full of stories of women who are at first barren, and then have a child: A special child who is a blessing to the world. In this story we learn about Hannah, the second wife of Elkanah. She prays for a son every time that she comes to the temple. The Priest notices her prayer and prays with her. On the next visit, she dedicates her baby to the Lord, to be raised in the temple. In chapter 1 we read Hannah’s story, in chapter 2 we hear her song. A song that not only celebrates her fortune, but the fortune of the world. This song is the precursor to Mary’s song celebrating the birth of Jesus. Is it that time of the year again?

It is indeed almost time for advent – a new year, a new beginning, a new life. So it makes sense that Jesus would start to talk about the end times. But is the end that Jesus speaks of the same one the so many in the world are predicting? Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple . An event which indeed happened before, and indeed will happen again. That was the end of life as the Hebrews knew it. And each time they had to recreate themselves and redefine their identity, and go on with life. That is the same with us, advent is a time to understand what has been destroyed and what we must begin anew.

Questions: There is a point in every life where we are indeed trying to make it and even though progress is being made, it appears that it is not happening. We can only see darkness- when has there been a time like that in your life? What was it that got you through the tough time? What was it life to finally see light at the end of the tunnel. The disciples ask Jesus when will they know when the end has come – Jesus does not answer – yet gives them signs that the end is near? Have you seen any of those signs? What do they really mean?

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