My dad used to talk about “the end times”. I can’t remember the details but it had a lot of bible references and sounded like weather forecasting. As a child it was just another “fact of life” to be added to the growing knowledge of life and living. And there is no criticism in that statement whatsoever.
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.” Luke 21:5-11
And off we go again with the tea-leaf-readings: look around at the political turmoil today, the global unrest, the inhumanity of man to man, the unfairness of this world we live in … it must be getting close …
(and leave all the rest behind – I am a believer – not like these self-centred sinners who had their chance)
Just like this comment on Facebook yesterday: “O Lord fill our churches once again. Send revival… Only your Holy Spirit and your everlasting grace can do this … I have the faith it’s you who can move mountains….! In Jesus name.“
We seem to be a wailing generation passing the buck to God like spoiled children: “Do this, do that, do it now, right now. Save this one, leave that one, save me now and leave that one.
It’s all about me me me me me. And right now please, in Jesus’ name”.
More and more I see a Jesus who didn’t try and change the world and save all. Who never despaired of “sin”. Never did all the stuff I see all of us doing so often: Feeling sorry for ourselves and passing the buck to God.
I don’t see Jesus fixated on “the end times” either. More a parent who knows the answer to: “Are we there yet?” hasn’t an answer that will satisfy the child … so too the “When are you coming back to get us good and faithful servants?” misses the point I think.
“Are we there yet?” is of boredom just as “When are you coming back to get us good and faithful servants?” is of weariness with this world.
More and more I find every day has the potential for me to be anything but bored or weary. Every day has the potential for so much love that “the end times” are irrelevant. Every day and every moment has the opportunity for eternity AND unconditional love both given AND received. And – I may be wrong – but more and more I think THAT is what Jesus was teaching – that THAT is what the bible is teaching.
And – I could be wrong about this too – but I think that all this worship and praise and service and cross-carrying and obligation and sin-victim mentality is NOT that of “a mature Christian”. It seems to me the boredom of a child’s “Are we there yet?” – just as the mature “religious taught response” seems to be “Not yet, just sit still and look out of the window and we will be soon.”
More and more I see a Jesus and God who lived AND lives EVERY day. And what I make of THAT “teaching” is down to me.
I can either look out of the window and
pray wail aloud “Make it now – in Jesus name.” Or I can live in the now and find eternity and unconditional love right now.
And THAT really does change my world AND everyone in it.