24"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32"But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."
With the start of the new church year, we spent a fair amount of time with an overview of the gospel according to Mark; here's a short blog for Advent 1.
Today with the first Sunday of Advent, the church begins a new year of grace. Blue is the color for Advent; blue is the color of hope. Advent with its hope is a harbinger of Easter, the fulfillment of hope. Every year the scripture readings open Advent with a splash of apocalyptic, signaling the end of the world as we've known it—the end of death, destruction, empire, violence, exploitation.
Remember apocalypse, apocalyptic, apocalypticism? Revealing, uncovering, unveiling. Apocalyptic literature usually includes code words and images we need to interpret or unwrap on a level beyond the obvious. The passage from Mark's gospel that opens Advent this year 2017 comes from the middle of Mark's passion narrative!