Is it just me or does it seem lately like this world of ours is a lot less stable than it used to be? Look wherever you like, you will see the signs of the deterioration (or the collapse) of things we had thought were relatively stable. In the natural world we are seeing storms, the power of which had never been witnessed. We know their names well: “Harvey”, “Irma”, “Maria”. They are now part of our vocabulary.
We don’t name earthquakes but we have experienced plenty of them lately, especially in our neighbor to the south, Mexico. I even experienced a relatively small one when I was in El Salvador for a meeting this past summer.
In the area of international relations has there been a time in most of our lives when we felt this close to a war that has the potential to go nuclear with rogue nations like North Korea and Iran? International terrorist groups who abuse the good name of Islam seem ever more athirst for the blood of the innocent as a sacrifice to their unquenchable desire for vengeance.
Closer to home we are seeing threats to the dignity of human life at every stage. Even though we have the federal government and most state governments in the hands of the Party that supports the protection of the life of the unborn, abortions continue apace. Meanwhile new threats seem to be arising almost daily. With advances in splicing DNA rapidly moving forward we see the potential for life-saving technologies, but we also see the potential, even the reality, of great abuse of this new power as scientists are recklessly experimenting with human embryos which are receiving DNA from other animals.
Institutions that form the basic structure of society such as the family with its primary bond of the life-long, faithful, complementary relationship of a man and a woman is under great threat. Children are being deprived of their right to stable, affirming family relationships and the effects of this deprivation can be seen all around us.
Of course I could go on with this frightening, depressing list of developments, but I think my point is clear. I have news for you: the sky IS falling! Yes, it IS FALLING! But don’t feel you need to duck. The truth is that the sky has always been falling. That is the constant state of this fallen, broken, decaying world of ours. The end of the world is near and the signs are pretty obvious, especially of late. Jesus warned us that it would be thus: “You will hear of wars and reports of wars;…Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains.” (Matt. 24: 4-8)
In the midst of this all Jesus stands upon the storm-tossed water before us and speaks in a voice that pierces through wind and rain. He says, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.” (Is. 43: 5) “…Take courage. I have conquered the world.”(John 16: 33)
Whether the events that seem to usher in the end of the world are unfolding in your personal life or on a larger scale, it matters little. His answer is the same. And since he is the Lord of the Universe and the One who loves you intimately at the same time there is no problem too large or too small. He is at our side with his gracious invitation, “Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11: 25)
Yes, the sky IS falling, but he who made the sky and he who called us to life is our Redeemer, our Saviour. “Of whom should I [we] be afraid?” (Ps. 27: 1)
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz