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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, November 13, 2022

November 13, 2022
  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Canticle 9
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
  • Luke 21:5-19

“Everything will be all right in the end. And if it isn’t all right, it’s not yet the end!” This theme from the 2011 movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel also summarizes today’s readings.

It seems that every day I look at the news and wonder what is happening to the world I thought I knew. While many of us have left COVID-19 behind us, the United States is still seeing about 400 COVID deaths every day, according to the latest statistics out of Johns Hopkins. Economic headlines worry about a looming recession. Unseasonably warm weather raises fears of climate change. Political violence seems to be increasingly commonplace, both at home and globally. The world does not seem like a safe place.

Well, there’s a good reason for that. Our world is not safe. In today’s Gospel passage, people are admiring the massive and ornate Second Temple which had been built after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. At this point, the Second Temple had stood for about five and a half centuries, but within a few more decades it too would be destroyed by the Romans. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, Jesus tells his disciples to expect conflict on every level. Within the church they would need to expect false prophets and be on their guard to avoid being led astray. On a global level they should expect both wars and widespread natural disasters. If all that wasn’t bad enough they will also experience persecution from both religious and governmental authorities and would be betrayed by their families and closest friends. Nothing in this world is safe, not the church, not geopolitics, not the natural world, not local government, not even our closest relationships.

This sounds entirely terrifying, except that it’s not yet the end. Nothing in this world is safe and reliable. Nothing except for God. Our first reading, from the book of Isaiah, tells us about our ultimate end, with a new heavens and new earth. This is a vision of a world set right, where everyone will live in health and wholeness and joy. This renewed world is the end of the story. Everything may be terrible before then, but everything will be all right in the end. And if it isn’t all right, it’s not yet the end.

– Kristen Filipic


What concerns you about the world today?

How do you trust in God when the world seems to be falling apart?

Where do you find hope for the future?


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