Today there is more discussion about the end of the world, focusing on the Mayan calendar. I prefer to focus on the new beginning that comes with God’s direct intervention in Jesus Christ. One of the titles given to Jesus is Emmanuel: God with us. I grew up in a church named Emmanuel and remember Jesus’ title with joy at this season. The old has past away; behold the new has come.

Pastor John Keller

The end of the world evokes strong emotions. Current books and movies play on the theme that the culture/world/civilization that we know is ending and a new one is replacing it, usually more horrific than our current culture/world/civilization. The roots of the transformation are in our current society and will bear fruit in the coming years. The fear of global nuclear war spurred such writings from 1950s through the 1990s. The book and movie Hunger Games is a contemporary expression of such apocalypses and their aftermath.

Mark 13 is also an expression of apocalyptic literature. Jesus and his disciples were in Jerusalem for the Passover festival. Jesus would be arrested and executed by the Roman officials in a few days. Jesus warned the disciples of coming tribulation and devastation. The magnificent temple that was central to Jewish worship would be destroyed in less than forty years by the Roman Empire. The…

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