In worship today the set gospel reading was taken from Mark 13. On first glance it is an account of Jesus giving his disciples information about the future. It describes tribulations that are yet to come, the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, natural disasters and cosmic phenomena marking the end of history and a warning to be ready for Christ's return. At first glance it is hard to see how this relates to Advent, the weekly count down to Christmas. But on reflection it's makes perfect sense. Many of the scenarios described were already happening at the time of Christ and even at the time of the writing of the Gospel of Mark several decades later. In fact some of Jesus' predictions didn't come to pass until 70 AD when the Romans finally destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the place where creation and creator were connected in ancient Jewish belief. The might of Rome crushed the intimate bond between God and his world, seemingly never to be rebuilt again. However God had a plan that would out run the banners of Rome. In the person of Jesus, God established a new intimate connection with humanity. However when Rome tore him down, God raised him back to life. In Christ there is hope that calls all of us to put our trust in him and the way he calls us to follow. When the sky is falling, and the sun refuses to shine, because Christ lives with in us, there is hope
The Candle of Hope
The Candle of Hope reminds us that no matter how dark our world gets, there is hope. That when our relationships are messy and love has seemingly died, there is hope. That when our bodies give up and our mind fades, there is hope. When there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, and the end is nigh, there is hope. May the light of hope burn brightly in your advent season this year.