Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent, Day 1: It's the End of the World as We Know It

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. - 2 Peter 3:8-10

If you're like me, you've felt lately as if the world were coming apart. A narcissistic, bullying, sexually predatory, congenital liar has been elected president. An enabler of white supremacists has become chief counsel to the president-elect. The next head of the EPA refuses to believe that climate change is actually happening. And those are just some of the most egregious signs. It's so easy to feel helpless.

The season of Advent begins not with cheery holiday shopping, but with gloom and doom. Destruction happens in this life. Everything that we hold dear will someday come to an end. Yet that gloom and doom is tinted with hope. God is within and through and behind everything.

It may feel like the world is ending right now, but it is not. We live and we love. As a matter of fact, as long as there are opportunities to practice the kind of love Jesus taught us, life is well worth living.

Julian of Norwich wrote, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Words are cheap. But the Christian witness is not blithe optimism. It rests on a deeper hope that even as the world actually does come apart, whether for us personally or for everyone at once, God is there. God loves us, and God rescues us at the end of all things.

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