Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Take Heed Lest Anyone Deceive You" 

I'm scheduled to preach this coming Sunday, so, as is my custom, I read through the lessons today in advance of the clergy bible study I attend at noon on Tuesdays.

Ay, Dios mio!

It seems the lot has fallen to me to preach on Jesus' end times' scenarios and apocalypic preditions, as well as on the eschatological visions of Daniel. Intimidated at the outset, I set to thinking about the texts and what I may say about them. In my initial research via textweek.com, I came across this excellent bit by St. Thomas Aquinas, on Mark 13, from his Catena Aurea, which is worth perusing even if you don't have to preach this coming Sunday.

Then I poked around the internet, curious to see if I could find some sort of listing of all the false predictions that failed to come to pass. Such lists abound, believe it or not. For example, see this fairly comprehensive list, or perhaps this one. All of this made entertaining reading.

Then I came across a pastoral letter written by author Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline; Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home) to the subscribers of his email group. I read it, and I re-read it. It was excellent and I want to duplicate it for my parishioners. Permission to do so is included in the letter, so long as credit is given to Foster. I encourage you to read it as well.

You may find it here.

Then I thought some more about the Gospel passage, and it came to me, as if by inspiration, that a way to begin this week's sermon would be to say:

"It is fitting that it is in the same week in which we hear Jesus say to us, "False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect," that we also hear advertisers announce to us the release on DVD this week of the film, "The DaVinci Code."



ooh... and you're going to post the rest later, right?

By Blogger Beth, at 8:37 PM  

And then there's this: The desolating sacrilege could refer to when the Roman standards flew above the Temple around 70 a.d. What might that say about allowing, and even encouraging, the U.S. flag to be draped around the sanctuary of some churches today?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 PM  

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By Blogger Secret Rapture, at 10:32 AM  

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