Friday, December 21, 2012

Not the end of the world

It's been a long day in the office today. Been working on Sunday's sermon and the messages for both Christmas Eve services, scheduling liturgists and children's sermons for 2013, and updating the church website and sign. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that I realized that this was supposed to be the end of the world. According to the Mayan calendar, tomorrow doesn't exist. The philosophy major in me responds to that with, "Of course tomorrow doesn't exist until we get to tomorrow." But many folks have been calling 12/21/2012 the official end of the world because the Mayans didn't write anything on their calendar after this date. Did anybody think that maybe the guy writing just got tired? Maybe his stone chisel broke? It's hard for me to believe that the Mayans saw the end of the world but didn't see the Spaniards coming to wipe out their civilization. Of course the Bible speaks about this. In Matthew 24 we're informed about the signs that indicate that the end is coming. Many folks have been saying that we're living in those times. In fact, folks have been saying we're living in those times since they first read those words. We always seem to believe that things are worse now than they ever were. That's awfully pessimistic if you ask me. In verse 36 of Matthew 24 we read the following, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Only God knows when the end of this creation will be. Not the Mayans. Not Harold Camping. Not the guy on the street with the sign that reads, "The end is here."
Of course these are dark times. Natural disasters, mass shootings in schools and malls and movie theaters, countless wars around the globe... all these and more lead us to understand the mess that we've made of this world by having free will. But there is a light in this darkness. Jesus was born into dark times too. But he was born to be a light in that darkness. Each year at Christmas we celebrate His birth once again. Each year we look for that light to banish the darkness - the darkness in our world and the darkness in ourselves. So in the midst of dark times, when the world is absolutely not ending (at least not today), let us all celebrate the light of the world and let us carry His light to brighten the dark places.