I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As we begin the season of Advent we prepare our hearts to receive Christ as a baby in Bethlehem and as our king at the end of time. Today's reading is from Mark chapter 13, which scholars call the "Markan apocalypse" because it is a fairly long section in Mark on the end of time. Apocalypse means revelation and it refers to a whole genre of literature and thinking focused on how God will act decisively to bring history to the right conclusion. This was an important kind of literature in Judaism at this time as the Roman Empire's control made it hard to imagine anything but a radical act of God bringing freedom to Israel. We see this kind of literature in the Old Testament book of Daniel and the book of Revelation. Jesus predicts trouble for the faithful before God's final victory. We too can expect hardship in our walk of faith, but God is always faithful, and in the end his love will triumph.