Sermon Summary for Sunday, November 18, 2018 | Respectfully submitted by Brenda Worley
On this day we celebrated our Scottish roots with the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans. The story of how Bishop Seabury was ordained by the Scottish Episcopal Church to be the first American Bishop was read. The congregation was piped in and out of the service and the atmosphere was very festive.
The focus of Mother Mary’s sermon was on the gospel reading from Mark. This passage, Mark 13: 1 – 8, is referred to as Mark’s little apocalypse and is intended to give us hope and keep us focused when everything around us is amuck. We are to keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus instead of following false messiahs.
In this gospel reading the disciples are distracted by the “large stones” and “large buildings” around the temple. Jesus tells them that “all will be thrown down.” Later, on the Mount of Olives, he instructs them that they will be tempted by false messiahs and that there will be great unrest…nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom…there will be earthquakes and famines…before the coming of his kingdom. Though he has told them he must suffer, die, and be raised on the third day, they are still convinced that there will be an earthly kingdom in which they can participate. They just don’t get it.
Jesus wants them and us to recognize what is truly important. He wants us to understand about sacrifice, justice, and faith. He wants us to stay focused on him and assist in the coming of the real kingdom. You know, the kingdom “on Earth as in Heaven.” He wants us to not be distracted by all of the excesses of our lives and all of the turmoil in our world. This does not mean we have to deny these things. It means that we cannot allow them to draw our hearts and minds away from the love and compassion that Jesus wants us to show towards all of our fellow travelers.
What distracts you? False messiahs come in many forms. Some of them are of Satan. Sometimes we realize it too late. Stay focused on welcoming, giving, helping, working, worshiping, loving, and fulfilling. Fulfilling the plan that God has set for us. Heed his voice, not the voice of the distractions around you. Give thanks that we are loved even in our imperfections…warts and all!