Blogging Towards Sunday, November 14, 2010
The end of the world, or just as we've known it?
Two passages that paint wide and big visions of the world the ways it is and the way God wants it to become. Are they talking about the recreation of the world? The end of the world? Or the end of the world as we know it?
The two above videos lift up some contemporary thoughts about this Biblical vision of the new heavens and new earth. 2012: a recent movie, points to the emerging hoopla about the Maya prophecies saying the world will end in the year...wait for it....2012. The other is an old favorite song of mine by the rock group REM. The tag line "It's the end of the world as I know it, and I feel fine." Often we're lullied into accepting with apathetic passivity or resignation the way the world is or has become. It's all to easy to blame it on someone else: the Republicans. The Democrats. In the past it's been blamed on other racially different groups. Often upon the Jews. Nowdays often on the Chinese, the hordes of immigrants seeking to swarm our nation and/or the growing threat of a atheistic majority. Oftentimes we're upset not because the world is ending (it seems to me when we look at past groups announcing apocalyptic destruction in history) but more because the world as we know it, or the world as we want it, is ending. There's maybe an important difference in that.
The problem with such thinking is that we remove ourselves from the equation. We deny our own responsibility. I think that's in part what Jesus is talking about in Luke 21. Our actions have a consequence. As a physicist would say "for every action there is a reaction." We can't change what others think, how they live or what they do by legislation, manipulation or force. But we can live according to what we believe and experience to be true, offering our life not just as an example, but as a light in the darkness (words of the Gospel of John) in the sense that what we do does matter. Our actions do impact the universe. Our place is neither unnoticed nor insignificant. How then shall we live - as individuals and as members of a community of faith? Will we merely talk about a new heavens and new earth as metaphor? pray for it? or work towards it?