On October 7, a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip moved into Israel and killed hundreds of civilians and soldiers, and kidnapped 200+ more. Israel almost immediately declared war on Hamas. But that has stirred movements from Turkey, Russia, Iran, Syria and more. This sermon is meant to give us a lens through which to view this war and why it matters that we pay attention to it.
Two different people can view the exact same information or data, and their imaginations take them in very opposite directions. Our imaginations are so often guided by either faith or fear. This Vision Sunday message encourages us to use a holy imagination, and instead of saying "we can't", to look at our future and say "God is with us."
The people who listened to Jesus teach at the temple every day woke up Friday morning, to find him already beaten, bloody, and nailed to a cross. The future hope of Israel was bleeding out in front of their very eyes. But as Jesus dies on the cross, there are a lot of massively significant things happening.
In this sermon from Luke 21:20-36, Jesus gives his disciples warnings about the temple and Jerusalem’s eventual destruction, and he also includes signs to look for as you watch for him to return.
Jesus told the people of his day: "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." Jesus isn't one of several lights, the lighting section of Menards or Lowes. He's THE Light of the World, which means, if the world with all it's darkness is ever going to have light, it'll only be through him.