This is the message I preached on Sunday, 11/15 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The text is Mark 13:1-8. Our world seems to have gone right off the rails. Crazy and awful things are happening everywhere; we have massive swings in the weather, huge hurricanes and typhoons, a giant el nino in the Pacific, unprecedented climate change and upheaval in the middle east; the latest of which is the 3 simultaneous terror attacks last Friday in Paris, France. When we see such images, don't we sometimes think, "Here we go again. When will the madness stop?" It seems that today's gospel reading with its apocalyptic overtones is exactly what we need to hear. Apocalyptic describes the style of writing where the heavenly and earthly worlds seem fused. It's like the curtain in a theater being drawn back--and suddenly we see things that until now were hidden from view. Imagine a cosmic curtain, drawn back by an angel of God, that suddenl
“Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.” (Sent! by God's grace for the sake of the world, July 2006, "Global Missions Event." 5).