Saturday, 26 September 2015

Blood Moons and Lilies of the Field

So I see the world's going to end. Again. Apparently the combination of a lunar eclipse and a super-moon will cause the Imminent appearance of the seraphim upon the Jeroboam. And as a result people in America are, once again, heading to the hills and stocking up on tinned food and assault rifles.

It seems to fly against all logic. It's not like lunar eclipses are rare - I've personally had a good view of at least half a dozen over the years. And it's not like "super moons" are rare. They're just hyped. A supermoon happens half a dozen times a year. None of this is unpredictable. We understand the physics. The Chinese were predicting eclipses centuries before Christ.

And it always amazes me that, if you are told the world is going to end, the first reaction is to go out and get some food and a gun. Because if you think this is the Apocalypse - the great day when Jesus will return - you're wasting your time with both. First up, Jesus is renowned as a dead good provider of free food and drink. And if he's going to be judging both the living and the dead, I just don't think guns are going to be much help.

So I'm not heading to the hills and I'm not stocking up on corned beef. Though I'm tempted to set the alarm for 1am Monday morning so I can see it - if the weather looks hopeful.

Obviously most people aren't alarmed. The end of the world happens so often these days that it's hardly worth getting excited about. Although there's always that nagging feeling that, one day, somebody is going to be right.

But I'd like to compare it with what Jesus says. He says this: "See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these." He's comparing the kingdom way of life with a way of life that constantly worries - keeps up with the Joneses. What Jesus says elsewhere is that you're wasting your time trying to work out the end of the world - because even he, during his time on earth, didn't know. He tells us about a judgement, and he tells us it could come any time - but he doesn't give us a timetable.

Because what Jesus is really saying, I believe, is that we should always live like it's the end of the world. I don't mean we should all live up in the hills, gnashing our teeth and living on tinned sweetcorn and hunting rabbits. I mean we should all live considering that we may not have the time we expect.

So if you've a friend who you've not seen for a while, and you're thinking one day you should get together - make a phone call, send an email or try and find them on Facebook - maybe today is the day you should do it. If you've been planning to give some money to a good cause, or spend some tie doing something worthwhile - maybe today is when you should do it.

If there's something you have been planning to do, or try, or if there's a relationship that's been broken and you've always thought you should say sorry - always thought someone should make the first move - maybe today's the day for that move. Maybe it's you should do it.

And then if the world doesn't end on Monday morning, it won't matter that you've done something you should have done anyway. And you'll have another day to do those things you should have done anyway - good things; fulfilling things; things that help others; whatever. It doesn't mean you give up your job, or let your house fall down, or don't cook your dinner. And give thanks for the good things God has given you in this world, for however little a time they give you a glimpse of his goodness. But "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Don't panic that the world might end tomorrow. Just live like it might.

1 comment :

  1. If Iwere you I wouldn't bother setting that alarm. My experience of skygazing has been, that the date and time of any astronomical phenomenon has been noted by every cloud in the Western hemisphere, and they congregate as thickly as possible over the UK, especially where I happen to be living.

    Solar eclipses, asteroids, showers of comets can pass by completely unobserved. Should the end of the world really arrive, I probably won't even notice.

    Sleep well!


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