When we lose something that is sacred to us, or when something that is sacred to us is destroyed, it can feel like the whole world is coming to an end. This is especially true when what we have lost had seemed to us to be indestructible. For generations, the most sacred and seemingly indestructible thing in the life of God’s people was the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Temple, in the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry in Judea, was massive. Its grounds took over a huge portion of the city of Jerusalem. The stones from which it was constructed weighed as much as 400 tons. As impressive as its physical dimensions were, however, it was the Temple’s spiritual significance which made it so important in the life of the people. The people believed that the construction of the Temple had been ordered and directed by God himself to be the place where he would meet with his people. But it wasn’t just a religious meeting place. The Temple was the spiritual, cultural, and national centre of the Jewish people. So not only was it sacred, it was so important to the life of the people that its destruction would have been unthinkable. This is in spite of the fact that everyone knew that the Temple had already been destroyed once and had come under significant threat many times since its reconstruction.
And yet, its destruction was so unthinkable that when Jesus tells his followers that one day the whole Temple will be “thrown down” so that “not one stone will be left upon another” (Luke 21:6) they are sure that he is talking about the end of the world, and many of his follower since then have come to the same conclusion, that he must be talking about the end of world here. But what Jesus goes on to say is that this is not the end. There will be wars and rebellions, “but” he says “the end will not follow immediately.” In other words, the destruction of the Temple is not the end world, and of course, history has proven Jesus right.
Just a generation or two after Jesus spoke these words the Temple was destroyed, and the whole of Judea was wiped off the map, but it was not the end. In fact, both Christianity and Judaism grew out from those destructive last days of the Temple to go on to have a far greater influence in the world and the history of the world than could have ever been imagined by those for whom the Temple had seemed so important.
On Sunday, we’re going to take a closer look at what all of this might mean for us and for the things that perhaps we believe to be as sacred and indestructible as the Temple, and which if we were to lose would seem to us like the end of the world.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
4:00 — 6:00 pm (includes supper)
- It’s fun on a Sunday for children and adults. It’s delightfully messy but you don’t have to clean up.
- We explore the advent season through storytelling, music, games, crafts and/or drama
- We finish with a shared supper
Who is it for?
- Kids & Adults of all ages. You don’t need to be a “regular” at our church or any church— ALL are welcome