November – 2014

Nov 2
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (3.1-3)
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.

A Reading from The Wisdom of William Penn
Death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

A Reading from the Hebrew Scriptures (Isaiah 25.7-9)
7God will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; God will swallow up death forever. 8Then God will wipe away the tears from all faces…9It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for God to rescue us. This is the I AM for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in God’s safe-keeping.

{alt, John 6.37-40}

Nov 9
The Wisdom of Ernest Holmes
We believe in God, the living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests Itself in and through all creation, but is not absorbed by Its creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.

We believe in the incarnation of the Spirit in us, and that all people are incarnations of the One Spirit. We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding. We believe that Heaven is within us, and that we experience It to the degree that we become conscious of It.

A Reading from the Wisdom of the Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 4.15-18)
15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

{alt, Mt 25.1-13}

Nov 16
The Wisdom of A.B. Fay
“If I look for the Christ, this moment the second coming will be to me. It is a matter of our own mental attitude. Those who are not looking for the coming forth of the Christ spirit from within our own souls will not see it; it is just as far off as we put it.”

A Reading from the Wisdom of the Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 5.1-5, 8-9, 11)
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation…11Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

{alt, Mt 25.14-30}

Nov 23
The Wisdom of A Course in Miracles
Christ’s Second Coming, which is sure as God, is merely the correction of mistakes, and the return of sanity. It is a part of the condition that restores the never lost, and re-establishes what is forever and forever true. It is the invitation to God’s Word to take illusion’s place; the willingness to let forgiveness rest upon all things without exception and without reserve.

It is the all-inclusive nature of Christ’s Second Coming that permits it to embrace the world and hold you safe within its gentle advent, which encompasses all living things with you.

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (25.31-36, 40)
31“When the Son of Humanity comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed…inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

Nov 27 – Thanksgiving
Psalm 65
1Praise is due to you, O God… 2O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. 4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple. 5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. 6By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might. 7You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples. 8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. 9You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. 10You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness. 12The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Nov 30 – Advent 1
A Reading from the Wisdom of Steve Jones
Multitudes were bracing for the end as the clock ticked toward 2000. In the forecast were computer crashes threatening to send the planet back to the law of the jungle. The Middle East was continuing its instability, amplifying the drumming hoof-beats of the Four Horsemen. Biblical chronologists, accordingly, set to work “proving” the imminent coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds. The gleams of his return were on the horizon, ready to break into the full light of day once we left the 20th century.

The same thing happened 1000 years ago. As the calendar was getting set to shift into quadruple digits, people’s lives went into upheaval. For many, the impending millennium brought about opposite extremes. Some became devout, preparing for what they believed was the Second Coming. Others turned to last-ditch debauchery, fearing the world would end before they had their full measure of fun.

But the world passed the year 1000 and sped into the 1300s, when end-of-the-age fervor seized people afresh. The black death swept through Europe, wiping out a third of the population. War raged, including the demoralizing Hundred Years’ War. Christians were bewildered as three men rose up, all claiming to be the pope. The end appeared to be at hand for sure this time.

Since then, the end has been predicted again and again. Most notably, the Millerite movement drew people to sell their goods and ascend a mountaintop, waiting for Jesus to return in 1844. The event became known as the Great Disappointment. The Watchtower organization has set dates with embarrassing regularity. In 1988, a Texas author wrote a book listing “88 Reasons Jesus Will Come in 1988.” …The date, of course, passed without the Parousia.
Likewise, the year 2000 came and went uneventfully…

Another thing we should consider when approaching this topic is that the term “end of the world” is not really a biblical statement. A lexicon or concordance will reveal that the Greek word “aeon” is better translated “age.”
…the authors of Scripture wrote about the end of an age, not of the globe. They rarely, if ever, spoke globally.

Mark 13:24-29, 32
24“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26Then they will see ‘the Son of Humanity coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 32“But about that day or hour no one knows…

 

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