"And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 24:12-13 (ESV)
1.  How do we face an increase of wickedness, crisis upon crisis, without panic and fear?  It’s scary right now!

2.  Jo mentioned several “isms.”  Racism, ageism, sexism, ableism, homophobia.  Why is the church so silent about these isms?

3.  What does it look like to hold the line, hold out to the end within the Christian church?  

4.  Hallelujah anyway, in the middle of the mess.  How could the church be the loudest hallelujah in the middle of this mess?


1. have a portion of (something) with another or others.
MUSIC // Jars of Clay — 'Oh My God'
MUSIC // Handel — 'Messiah', Hallelujah Chorus (Part II, no. 44)
MUSIC // Rend Collective — 'Revival Anthem'
I love the lyrics of this worship song, and I love to play it loud and worship hard to this one! This official music video has a neat story at the beginning, about resisting the kingdoms of this world, and declaring Jesus’ Lordship over all. This is a good one to play loud in your lounge room when the ‘increased wickedness’ is overwhelming!

ART // Ai Weiwei
**Just for the Grown Ups!**
I am most inspired by art as resistance, and beauty as resistance. This video about artist Ai Weiwei might open up some discussion about ways we resist the cold and can hold the line.

This particular moment, in JRR Tolkien’s ‘Return of the King’ has always struck a chord with me, and seems like a pretty good match for Matt 24:12,13
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

I discovered this incredible video  of pianist and composer Hania Rani, created by cinematographer Neels Castillon earlier this year and I have come back to watch it over and over. It was filmed in Iceland, in -7 degrees celsius! I love the intensity of the dance, and the beauty being created not just in defiance of the conditions and environment, but in collaboration with them. Remarkably, this film was created all in one take. I appreciate not only the powerful and sensitive movement of the dancers, but the way they ‘tag team’  their performance. I wonder about the relevance of that for us?
FILM // Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
There’s this fabulous scene in Lord of the Rings “Two Towers” where Merry and Pippin (those two hapless Hobbits ) have been separated from the rest of their companions, and find themselves amongst Ents, ancient walking talking trees. They attempt to enlist the help of Treebeard, the oldest of the Ents, and  rally the trees to their cause- a battle against Saruman and the orcs (who scare the heebee jeebees out me). There is a rising darkness and conflict  raging in Middle Earth and the Hobbits and their fearless gang are freedom fighters, now in need of the help of some giant trees. So they ask for help. And the Ents decide to have a committee meeting about it. After some time the trees return with their response
Treebeard: We Ents cannot hold back this storm. We must weather such things as we have always done.
Merry: How can that be your decision?
Treebeard: This is not our war.
Merry: But you're part of this world, aren't you?

Like Christ, we take part in the suffering of the world, not separating ourselves from it. Love leans in.


WATCH // Saddleback Kids — Paul and Silas


1. form (something) by putting parts together or combining substances; create.
2. cause (something) to exist or come about; bring about.
MAKE // Words into Art
Have you seen the scripture calligraphy of artist Tim Botts? Maybe you could have a go at creating some scripture art using Matthew 24:13, or Revelation 11:15? There are lot’s of fun videos on YouTube to help you get started with scripture art if you’ve never done it before. I enjoy drawing and creating in the margins of my bible, as part of my devotional reading and study,  but you might like to create something to put around your home, or gift to a friend.
MAKE // The Word Come to Life
George Frideric Handel and Charles Jennen used music and scripture to tell the life of Jesus and celebrate His victory. How could you  tell the story visually - a comic book? Lego?
We'd love to see what you come up with! 


1. make an attempt or effort to do something. Use, test, or do (something new or different) in order to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant.
Can you think of times you’ve been really cold? The coldest water you’ve ever been swimming in? A night camping? Or coldest place you’ve ever visited? How did you keep warm? What did you have to do, or wear? What does love growing cold look like for you, and feel like for you? How would you know when your love is growing cold? Can you identify when people close to you are growing cold in their love for Jesus or others? Can you do anything to help them, or not?
What about the hottest place you’ve ever visited? What about staying warm? What helps you keep your love for Jesus and others warm? What does it look like for you?
How can we put love in action? 
Continue to reach out even when it’s hard? 

Sometimes when I feel helpless, but I still want to make a difference, I jump onto Amnesty International and see if there are petitions I can sign, or letters I can write. These actions seem small, but it’s important to remember that we do not stand alone, and we do not love alone. 

Love is powerful in it’s accumulation.
So consider how you can add your voice to love.
TRY // Hot and Cold
Spend some time in the kitchen preparing two dishes, one hot and one cold. We've got some examples for you that you can try, three soup options and a sorbet.
Talk about the questions above with your friends or family while you enjoy your creations.


1. engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation
Make this wax resist snowflake painting and talk about how the paint resists the wax, how we resist the cold (in real life!), and how we resist going cold spiritually.
Kids might be interested in this little vid exploring the history of Handel’s Messiah.
This message is really about sharing love that never runs out, even in the face of very hard things and very dark times. Love that holds on to the very end! A book you might like to share is “Under the love umbrella”  by Dalvina Bell and illustrated by Allison Colpoys. If you can’t get a copy of the book, you can watch a vid of it here.