Is This the End?

We face a truly un-precedented number of events that, by themselves, would be significant.  To have them back to back just seems to defy anything in our experiences.  We have had major earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.  Tsunamis in Japan and Sri Lanka (not too long ago).  We have seen economic instability that this generation has never seen.  We are experiencing a continuing nuclear crisis in Japan where not one, but four, reactors are of concern.  We see the climate changing (most of the country has seen great snowfalls and winter weather but that has not be everywhere.  Here in New Orleans, they were selling snow balls in February!).   And nation state after nation state is under pressure throughout north Africa and in Asia.  Two major countries have seen change in political leadership.  There are wars.  There are rumors of war.  Nation against nation.  Kingdom against kingdom.  Is any of this sounding familiar?  Is this “The End”?

We frequently turn to God, particularly when life makes little sense.  And if there has ever been a time that would fit into the Biblical paradigm of the endtimes, now would seem to be it.

But I also remember Jesus himself said that not even he knew the day or the hour.  And I know that in previous generations there have been many forecasting the end of the world and this gives me pause.  Maybe “The End” isn’t as obvious as we think it will be.  And perhaps “The End” isn’t as close as we may think.

A question to ponder is, “Has God accomplished all God wants for us in the here and now?”  Maybe God has.  But I suspect God hasn’t.  Another question would be, “Does God still have things for us to do?”  Again, I suspect the answer is yes.  And so, for me, although I do not know, I do not think we are imminently facing the Second Coming.

But I do see it as the end of the post-World War II life that many of us have known all of our lives.  There are major changes at work and we are going to need to be adaptable and flexible in the days and years to come.  We may face challenges we never would have imagined just a few years ago.  And if there will ever be a time for God’s people to show God’s love and be the true community of faith, it will be such a time.  Just think of the opportunities before us, right now, to offer God’s love and share God’s Word.

We also know we are facing the best times before us.  That is really a part of the Bible we often forget.  There will be trials.  There will be tribulations.  But for the people of God, it’s going to be get not just better, but better beyond what we can imagine in the future.  We all find this out personally at some point.  And at some unknown point we will find this together.

So, let it be the end of what was.  Let us mourn the passing world but embrace the world before us.  God has put us here in this time and place for a reason.  Opportunities abound.  Let us accept this all, whether “The End” is this afternoon or a Milena from now.

It is an exciting time to be alive.

Until next time,

Tom

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