“Sois notre lumière dans les ténèbres, Seigneur…”*
So in church on Sunday the readings were all apocalyptic. I do not believe in coincidence, so it was just awesomely appropriate. We had the book of Daniel and the letter to the Hebrews and we had the gospel of Mark with the Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times.
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”
3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,4 “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
I was the intercessor and we had a special prayer en français for the people of Paris. I was afraid I would have to read it along with the Prayers of the People, but the rector had asked a former French teacher to do it. I read the translation. After 12 years of French in school, I could have faked it, but I was relieved that I did not have to do so.
The rector, who spent a couple of years earlier in his ministerial career at the American Cathedral in Paris,
gave a personal and heartfelt sermon related to the terrorist attacks and to the lessons actually assigned for the day. We sang “Oh, God, our help in ages past” (#680) . Old Isaac Watts is hard to beat for keeping things in perspective.
It was good to be in church and to pray together.
*”Be our light in the darkness, Lord”