Second Sunday before Advent - Reflection by Canon Leslie


Today is the Second Sunday before Advent. The Gospel reading comes from Mark chapter 13, a chapter that stands apart from the rest of Mark’s Gospel. Known as ‘the apocalyptic discourse’, chapter 13 stands between Jesus’ final days in Jerusalem (chapter 12) and the passion narrative (chapters 14 and 15).  In chapter 13 Jesus prepares the disciples and the church for the last days by emphasising two clear points.  On the one hand, Jesus affirms the reality of the last days.  On the other hand, Jesus projects this time into the future.  The temple will be destroyed, but that in itself will not be a sign that the end is near. 
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of demolition. In today’s picture from their book, Signs and Symbols, Aled and Sian go looking for the ancient castle to explore what has survived and what has been demolished over the years.  
Lord Jesus Christ, 
all things decay, 
but you endure for ever. 
Teach us to place our trust 
in the things that last, 
that we may live our lives for you; 
for you are our God. 
Next Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King draws to a close the Church’s lectionary year. Here is the triumphant acknowledgement that Christ reigns. The image to help us prepare for next Sunday’s theme is festival time. You can find out more about that theme here We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials.  
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