Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A promise big enough to save the world

There is a promise that has been made by God to the world, but I wonder if the world has ever considered it. God has promised to save the world... but then you knew that, right? I had a conversation with a parishioner in recent days and she told me that one of the hot topics going on around the city right now is the discussion about the end of the Mayan calendar and therefore, as some might suggest, the end of the world itself. People apparently are openly not doing things because the world is going to come to an end on December 21st because that is when the Mayan calendar runs out. This will definitely be bad news for the economy because nobody is going to finish buying for Christmas if they really believe that. And the folks who have been working in the Banks and at the credit unions and credit card companies are going to be unemployed because we aren’t going to need them either. Let’s not forget those who are in places and positions of power and prestige. There will be no more kings, queens, princes and princesses, no more powers and principalities and powers. There will be no more politicians and elections.

But salvation is not going to come from within. There isn’t a Justice League, with Superman, Wonder Woman or Aquaman. There won’t be friendly neighbourhood Spidey-man to come swooping in nor will there be the Wonder Twins to active their powers to come to our rescue. As human beings we can anticipate disaster. We can plan and prepare for Armageddon and try to protect ourselves from what may come. But we cannot avoid it. We cannot stop disaster. And as W.H. Auden once said, “We who must die, demand a miracle.”

Help is coming and this is what Advent is all about. Our rescue is on its way and it is coming through God himself. What we need to do is wake up; stay alert and be on our guard. We are called to pray and to pray that we will be given the strength to move through whatever we must go through and then escape. We are called to stand before the Son of Man.

There is another important truth in all of this: we often wait until the last moment to choose sides and until it is time to go to start packing for the journey ahead. We are called to stretch out towards the coming King, concentrating more on him and less on what the Empire can or is going to do to you, me and the rest of the Church. We cannot control Caesar and what the Empire does. We can only live out the message and boldly proclaim Jesus as Lord. We are called not to bring down and rebuild structures. We are to show love to those who have none, share grace for those who need some and give hope to those who have none. Through it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, we are to be watchful, pray for the coming of the kingdom and wait for the King. He is coming. He promised he would.

Marantha! (Come Lord Jesus, come soon.)


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