This Sunday is the 13th Sunday of Kingdomtide.  In the assigned gospel text from Mark 13, Jesus is predicting the destruction of the temple which was the center of religious life.  Jesus’ words take on an ominous tone.  While the outcome seems clear, Jesus is ambiguous about timing, speaking of a period when people will come with a misinformation campaign claiming they come in His name with special authority.

          So, “Jesus said ‘Watch out that no one deceives you.’”  This warning by Jesus was and is a timeless warning of which every generation needs reminding and should take heed.  Recent history demonstrates this to be true.

In the 20th century, the world saw a generation that had to heed the advice of Jesus in confronting a group claiming special authority, the Nazis.  Joseph Goebbels, it’s propaganda minister, said of misinformation and disinformation:  “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself;” and “Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated, are confident they are acting on their own free will.” 

          Our current generation needs to heed Jesus’ advice to “watch out that no one deceives you,” as we are faced with an unprecedented glut of misleading and false information.  Misinformation of all kinds, from honest mistakes to conspiracy theories that are thriving, fueled by an atmosphere that includes a once-in-a-generation pandemic, extreme political polarization, and the world of social media.

          So how does one “Stay the Course” and trust what is truth.  Follow the advice of Jesus.  “Watch out that no one deceives you.”  Anchor yourself in a relationship with God through fellowship in Christ, so as Jesus said in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”   

          Join us at Covenant for worship this Sunday, in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream, for some sound Biblical advice on how to “STAY THE COURSE,” my sermon title based on Mark 13:1-8