“The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar … and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” - 2 Peter 3:10-11
2 Peter asks THE question: since it's all coming to The End, what kind of people should we be?
I hear a lot of people say it lately, whether in jest, half-jest or in profound seriousness: these are the End Times. The End is, indeed, near. I totally get that. If you take the list I ran down in yesterday’s meditation of things that are making my spirit tired, I may as well be that screaming person on the corner with the sandwich board sign warning people of the coming apocalypse. I know I feel that way inside a lot of the time lately.
So, let me pose The Question: what if that is precisely what’s happening? Remember that the Greek word “apokalypsis” means “Change.” There can be no doubt that the world is changing right before our eyes. We are living in an apocalypse. I don’t truly know that the world I knew prior to the sweeping changes we’re living through on many fronts will ever come back. In all probability, it won’t.
What does that reality mean for us? What if, in some very profound ways, this is The End? What does it call us, then, to be?
The answers to that question will be profoundly central to what kind of world our children and grandchildren will grow up in. Will the apocalypse we’re living through be a catalyst for a more heightened awareness and sensitivity to the world’s pressing problems that are long overdue for solutions, or will we ignore them and saunter on as if those solutions can come from a future generation?
As Semisonic sings in their song “Closing Time”: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Can this be a time not only of Endings but indeed of New Beginnings springing from Endings? That is the hope inherent in Easter. That is the hope of Spring. That is the hope of the journey through The Wilderness that the Promised Land is waiting on the other side.
The End may be here, but The Beginning is out there, too. What, then, ought we to be?
God of Eternity, remind us that new beginnings always spring from endings and motivate us to live lives of hope in the face of life’s realities and of life’s promise.