Monday, December 01, 2014

Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent

APOCALYPSE is the cry of the helpless, who are borne passively by events which they cannot influence, much less control. The cry of the helpless is often vindictive, expressing impotent rage at reality. Apocalyptic rage is a flight from reality, a plea to God to fulfill their wishes and prove them right and the other wrong. Apocalyptic believers could hardly think the saying, "Go, make disciples of all nations," was addressed to them. Had apocalyptic believers dominated the church since the first century, there would have been no missions to unbelievers, no schools, no hospitals, no orphanages, no almsgiving. The helpless cannot afford to think of such enterprises; they can only await the act of God, and then complain because that act is so long delayed. The gospels and epistles rather tell the believers that they are the act of God.--John L. McKenzie

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The kidnappers of four Christian peace activists threatened to kill the hostages unless all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers are released, according to a videotape broadcast Friday by Al-Jazeera television.

The tape showed what the broadcaster said were two Canadian hostages. An American and a Briton are also being held. In a statement delivered with the tape, the kidnappers gave the two governments until Dec. 8 to meet their demands, according to Al-Jazeera.

Above the clamor of our violence
your word of truth resounds,
O God of majesty and power.
Over nations enshrouded in despair
your justice dawns.
Grant your household
a discerning spirit and a watchful eye
to perceive the hour in which we live.
Hasten the advent of that day
when the weapons of war shall be banished,
our deeds of darkness cast off,
and all your scattered children gathered into one.
We ask this through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer, First Sunday of Advent

No, not current.  From December 3, 2005.  The past isn't over; it isn't even past.


  1. Remember apocolypse, etymologically speaking, refers to an uncovering or revealing of a secret. Apocolyptic thinking is not only an understandably vindictive and passive cry of the helpless, it is also a way to turn over epistemological tables: "you may be so powerful you even control what people know and what they believe, but I, the powerless one, has secret knowledge ... knowledge which you do not and cannot possess about the immenent end of the world in which you have so much power and the comming of a new order in which I will have power". If knowledge is power, then apocolyptic thinking is the belief that the powerful really have no power and the powerless are the ones with the true power. Which is certainly comfort, no doubt, to the helpless.

  2. Personally I always think apocalyptic should be understood as a revealing, not as a Ragnarok. A day of justice which, as Amos says, is not something to be looked forward to:
    "Woe to those who yearn for the day of the Lord!
    What will this day of the Lord mean for you?
    Darkness, and not light!"

    --Amost 5:18