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With A Bang Or A Whimper?
Second Sunday of Advent

from the book
Sermons On The Second Readings
For Sundays In Advent, Christmas, And Epiphany

Frederick R. Harm


2 Peter 3:8-15a

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Back in 1925, T. S. Eliot wrote the poem, "The Hollow Men." It is an indictment of a whole generation of people whose lives are empty because they seem to believe nothing. They have been only a "paralyzed force, gesture without motion." They have accomplished nothing: they are the product of the dry intellectuality of modern life. Eliot describes them this way.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw


They are not "lost violent souls" but only hollow men. The last lines of the poem describe the way in which, for them and for so many of our own desiccated generation, the end of life comes:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.1


Today's challenging text anticipates God's plan for the end of our world, as we know it. It will be interesting to discover if T. S. Eliot's view ...

This Second Sunday of Advent sermon, With A Bang Or A Whimper?, is based on 2 Peter 3:8-15a and relates to Second Sunday of Advent of Cycle B of the lectionary. This sermon is excerpted from the book Sermons On The Second Readings . SermonSuite offers online sermons and professionally published sermons, lectionary sermons, non-lectionary sermons, children's sermons, sermon illustrations, worship resources, preaching resources, sermons on prayer, prayers, Christian drama, lectionary worship, lectionary workbooks and homilies. ...

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