Yesterday I posted Richard Dahlstrom’s article If The World Doesn’t End on Saturday… and I have been amazed at the response. To be honest I did not realize that we were gearing up for another apocalyptic deadline and to be honest I am not impressed as I have lived through many other such dates without a hitch. And if I do miss this one I know that 2012 is the doomsday prediction for many.
Why I wonder do so many Christians hope that the world will end in catastrophe? And even more puzzling why do many of them prepare by storing food, buying guns and heading for the hills? It smacks of a belief in a vengeful, tyrannical God rather than a God of love. And it speaks of a destructive rather than a creative God too. Unfortunately that reinforces the belief that many have in the utilitarian nature of creation and the feeling that our destructive habits and polluting lifestyles are really part of God’s plan not the antithesis of it.
When I wrote my ebook Shalom and the Wholeness of God I spoke about the fact that I believe God’s intention is to restore, renew and bring to wholeness all that has been created – the concept embraced by the Hebrew word shalom . I also also talked about our need to re-educate ourselves to recognize this fact and to learn to live into.
Only if we have a vision of the future that encompasses the wholeness not only of all humankind but also of all creation will we be able to give up our obsession with end time scenarios and enter fully into God’s purposes to restore all of creation to the wholeness, abundance, peace and mutual concern for which it was intended.
I look forward to celebrating on Sunday or the eighth day of creation as some call it because it symbolizes both the resurrection of Christ and the new creation that God is in the process of bringing into being. Listen to this beautiful imagery from Isaiah that beautifully portrays this new creation
Isaiah 65:17-25 (New Living Translation)
17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
will be heard in it no more.
20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
Only the cursed will die that young!
21 In those days people will live in the houses they build
and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23 They will not work in vain,
and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
The lion will eat hay like a cow.
But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”