Sunday, May 22, 2011
The End of the World
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. John 14:1-14
Yesterday, at 6PM, the world was supposed to have ended - or at least those who would be saved would be raptured and the rest of us would be left behind to suffer horrible consequences. Well, the time came and went and life goes on as usual. I think the folks who suggested that would want to at least apologize and take responsibility for all the people they mislead. People who did dumb things, like not pay rent or car payments. Some folks ache for an end of times because their lives are hard and painful. It understandable to ache for an end to suffering. And Jesus invites us today to help end the suffering of others, not worry about the last days or what heaven is like.
Jesus told his disciples "let not your heats be troubled." Don't worry. Simply suggesting that any and all acts of love signify the presence of God, and God knows and responds to those who act in love and charity for strangers and neighbors alike. We are invited to quit worrying and quit trying to figure things out. Certain things are in God's hands. The beginning and end of times and guidance along the way.
Today, I want to remember that the end of times are not to be determined by me, even when I wish for certainty and clarity. Jesus promised care for us, a road ahead, and a resting place - a home. And so today, I want to take every step trusting that God goes before me, caring for my way. My job is to love and care for others, demonstrating God's love alive in the world.