'When you do a Google search or search for videos on YouTube, you will find “definite” proof that the world will end in 2017. Civilization, and the earth itself, are in a downward spiral. The number of natural disasters are increasing exponentially. Even the heavens are in turmoil with asteroids and Planet X (Nebula) all on a collision course with Earth. Solar radiation and winds continue to beat down the earth’s protective shield and will cause a gravitational pole shift. September 27,2017 will the planetary alignment of Revelation 12. The list of prophecies being fulfilled, unlike the world, never ends.
One of the things that all of these Biblical end-times prophets hold in common is that the world, meaning us, need to repent. Doom is on its way and unless we accept their beliefs, we are all sentenced to eternal damnation. Religion becomes a form of Fire Insurance, and churches are Fallout shelters to protect us from the fire that will rain down from the sky.
Only one problem with that position, that’s not what Jesus said. Faith is not Fire Insurance, but rather Life Assurance. Jesus tells us that Jesus came that we might have life at its fullest (John 10:10) and have life everlasting. The church is not a Fallout Shelter, but a Community Center. A place where we can come together to celebrate life, to build relationships and to support others in a common vision.
There is absolutely no doubt that we live in a messed up world. We are living in a time of fear and hatred, a time of greed and a thirst for power. There are wars and threats of wars, there is famine and persecutions, there are earthquakes and volcanos, there are apocalyptic events happening daily. Even in our personal lives there is conflict and divisions. We worry about our jobs and our financial stability, about our relationships and social status. There is so much competition that we live in fear of being replaced, and may even do things against our better judgement in able to keep what we have or get what we want. We try to create a persona and image that will be acceptable in our social circles. But inside, we wonder who are true friends are, and would they accept us if they really knew us. Sometimes it is difficult for us to even accept ourselves for who we are.
This is where the core of Faith exists. In our deepest revelation of our self, to know that we are wonderfully made. That no matter what the world may really think of us, that we are completely loved by our God, a love without judgement. God knows that we are not perfect, only perfectly loveable. We are not condemned because we are not what we think we should be. We are loved for exactly who we are. In the realization of this love we find the strength, the peace and the hope to live in a world so out of control. In the knowledge of this love, we can risk loving the other. When we give ourselves permission to be who we really are, there is no need to fear the future for we realize that the Reign of God is here and now.
I do not know if this is the day that the world will end. What I do know is that this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.! (Psalm 118:25)
Fr. Jamie Forsythe