12 March 21

Some years ago I was in Vienna, staying in a sterile hotel that was near the conference cnetre, well away from the true centre of that city. It was Sunday, and I wanted to go to a service. I needed to worship God. So I went across the road, where the coptic church was.

That did not go well. I ended up in a parish church in the city, listening to a German liturgy when my German barely allows me to order beer, and not partaking. I’m not Roman, and Know when I’m a guest.

You need to meet togethe, but it is getting hard.

There are those who would regulate not merely our worship, but our very faith. They want to adjust the scritpure, for racism or antisemitism or sheer woke rage. But we need to still meet, to worship.

But as the churches have been laid waste in a spiritual sense, that means that the onus is now really on us. And how much better that is. For it is relatively easy to go to mass once per week, go through the motions for an hour or so, and then emerge back into the day confident that you have done your bit. But that passive way out is now closed. You need to be an active Christian. Are you praying the Rosary every day? That takes half the time as showing up to church but it’s a lot more involved, and that’s just for starters. Are you reading the bible? Are you doing your part to awaken those around you to the spiritual reality what we are facing?

But still, I agree that going to church is so important. It is a critical part of our faith. But only if we are around like-minded worshipers who understand the present reality, and that includes the priest. Which means you need to make the sacrifices to find a real church, and there are plenty of resources to help you with that. Far from going to church regularly, I have been to a real mass once in the past year, which was just under two months’ ago. I have to cross a border to get to the church in question and it is several hours from where I live. So I hope to schedule in a service every few months.

Within the Bapticostal Branch (or bramble) the need for worshp is emphasised more than the table, perhaps too much. I do know that worsip alone or in small grooups does not work as when together. And I also know that the spirit works through the litutgy. Though there are things that make me cringe, such as the hand of peace becoming californian huugs.

This does not seem to have much to do with the passage we have, apart from this: the final times will come when the power of the faithful is destroyed, and those who are to be saved are saved.

And only God knows the timing. We know sufficient. We do not know it all.

Daniel 12:5-13

5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.

13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

I am carefully avoiding thrying to interpret parts of this. There is arabbit hole around numbers and times and seasons, working out what happened on what date, and how the timing will work out. It is btter to assume that Christ will come when the time is ripe.

It is much better not to concentrate as much of the prophecies of the saints but what we see now. For this is the time when we are either faithful and give God the praise, or we kneel to the spirit of this age and converge.

And when we fear, know that God is holding those who he has chosen in his hand, and he will bring us home to him.

Ephesians 1:7-14

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

There are a bunch of people I need to pray for, and I don’t pray as faithfully as I ought to . They include my family, the brothers of my church, the leaders and pastors… and our enemies.

For ourselves, that we are reformed and become closer to Christ, and that we are not led to the test.

And for our enemies, that they repent. One sinner turning to Christ brings heaven to celebration.

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7 months ago

Hey, social hugs are soo… um… okay fine. You’re saying in NZ you don’t end up in a hug with someone whose name you haven’t gotten yet?