The Good News About the End of the World
(Posted November 15, 2019)
Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of God, for God is coming to judge the earth.-- Psalm 98
It’s always struck me somewhat oddly that here, near the very end of the Church’s liturgical year, the scripture we read focuses on the End of the World, and judgment of all. Wait…. it’s the beginning of the holiday season… I’ve got all these things to do…. and it’s the end of Church Stewardship Sundays. And it’s ALSO the End of the World? Jesus, is THIS your idea of Good News? That you and your Father are coming to judge the living and the dead? Right NOW?? That’s going to some kind of Jazz Sunday, all right!
Church Services on Sunday
Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome to worship with us.
But such is the structure of our Scriptural readings. And, if you listen carefully on this Sunday, you’ll understand what very good news it is. Everything we read this weekend either focuses on the good things we hope and pray for, or the trials and darkness we are all witnesses to right now. You know, the ones that make us wonder if the good people of this world will be enveloped by its present darkness.
But that’s just the point. It’s like the old “billboards from God” that used to be displayed along the highways, that had God observing earth and saying, “Don’t make me come down there,” or, “Do that one more time and I’ll stop this car!” It was humorous. But it’s also true. God sees how we’re treating one another, whether or not we’re living godly principles in our daily lives. And right now, as our Sunday reading from Isaiah 65 tells us, it’s about to change. God says:
For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be
remembered or come to mind…
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime….
They will call and I shall answer…
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent-its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all
my holy mountain, says the Lord.
These are not merely idle wishes. They are what is promised to God’s faithful people who endure the present darkness, and let their trust in God prevail.
I believe most of us have seen the truth that lies in M. Scott Peck’s statement:
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
Join us Sunday and we’ll explore together the Good News about this sorry old World full of broken people, and learn that God is, indeed, still in the driver’s seat. - Pastor Pat Kriss