Reflection on this week’s Gospel: Luke 21: 5-19

When I first read this passage I thought “oh no, another The End of the World type message.”  It took me back to the sermons I heard growing up encouraging us to repent our evil ways and prepare for the end times with threats of hell fire and damnation thrown in.

Looking at the events in recent times, including but not limited to this election process, it does seem we are in a world gone a muck. I have heard some say that this must be the end times. While Jesus warns us in this Gospel that the Temple will fall, he also cautions us that the true end will not be right away.

Jesus predicted that the Temple will crumble and there will be chaos but things will go on pretty much as before. There would still be people to help, evil to resist, prayers to say just like before. It is during this time we must remember that God is in charge. We must get ready for the kingdom of heaven which is within us.

When I first started on my path to deepen my spirituality I didn’t fully understand this. The kingdom within us is we ourselves behaving as Christians being faithful to god, loving our neighbors and serving others.

Even the finest religious buildings have no value unless people faithfully do God’s will. Our cities are cluttered with once magnificent but now nearly empty church buildings whose congregations failed in their Great Commission—failed to reach out with the Gospel—failed to love their neighbors and to serve their community.

We are very lucky here at COS. We have a beautiful sanctuary, the musical offerings are magnificent, our clergy is devoted and I admit I take pride in belonging to this parish and may even boast about the lovely grounds and stained glass windows and even the fact that General Patton taught Sunday school here! These are all things to be proud of but it is not what makes this church a living testament of love.

What makes this church special is that community of people dedicated to His service.  The outreach programs like Our Saviour Center and Jubilee Homes, The Prism ministry, all reaching out with love to the marginalized and those among us who look to Him for help.  We share God in Our Sunday school, in the preschool and children’s choir and youth groups as we continue to show God’s relevance in the world today. We offer our campus to community programs like AA and Ala-non and as a polling place to keep us visible in the community. We must continue to reach out with these messages of love peace and hope with the assurance that God has got a plan and we only need to have faith.

As we celebrate this 150-year anniversary let us continue to put God first and let the world know we are Christians by our actions and service.

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