The Who Not the When
Worship Set: Worship Playlist by Bryan Norton
Scripture: Mark 13: 32-36
Take It Further: “Same Message, Different Message” by Kim Cameron
During my young teen years, I attended a church in Maryland that emphasized the “end of times.” It was an interesting topic and in the early eighties, quite a few movies within the church crowd concentrated on this theme. Especially for a young teen like me who could not go to the movie theatre for a normal movie, these films were extremely powerful. Of course, this phenomenon led to many misinformed discussions in youth group and quite a bit of speculation of when this would happen and if it was happening now. There was a lot of suspicion of the number six, tattoos, and grocery store scanners. For me there was not a lot of context and there was a lot of fear. The fear caused me to have a recurring, unsettling dream.
I interpreted the church leaders’ use of religion and the end times as a warning—at least that’s how it seemed to my young mind. The end of times wasn’t a promise of hope, but more of a warning to dread, to fear. In all honesty, this fear is probably why I was a very well-behaved kid who everyone used as an example for their children (This did not make me a very popular teenager.). My cynical side would even say that, for this message, this was the intent by some in the church, and maybe a little of why my father did not discourage it. In the long run though, the misleading message did more harm than good. It was a temporary mechanism that caused insecurity and loneliness. I am sure this is not the intent God had in mind when he sent His son Jesus to this earth to die for my sins and promised to return.
This morning’s sermon was not the first time I had heard a more hopeful message in this topic, but it was probably the most succinct: The Who, not the When. For the past 15 years, I have been on a path of re-learning the gospel, so to simplify it to the “Who” and not the “When” brought me relief. To be on the watch for my Father, my Savior, and dare I say it, my friend, is such a different and much more beautiful dream for this daughter of God.
As I listened to Mike this morning, the words of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus kept coming to mind:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
May you feel and know the light of His glory and grace this week.
As we consider the “Who” of the gospel, do you need to reconsider any messages you may have heard during your own journey of faith? Is such consideration part of a healthy habit you might begin “during this unusual season?”
We’d love to hear from you. Please share with us below your thoughts and insight. We would love to see Take it Further be a place where as a community we dialog, and together we all take the conversation further.
*Note: If you wish, you can look up this and other Bible passages online at youversion.com
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