Monday, December 12, 2011
Looking to the Horizon
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:15-31
I woke up slowly today, tired and weary from the past few days. We had people gathered from all over, from all four directions. Family, friends and neighbors came to celebrate Mark's birthday. The world was full of food and laughter and great music for a time. I couldn't help but think how blessed I am to know and love so many. And to hopefully be loved in return. For all the challenges that we have faced, I wouldn't do much over again for from great challenges come great love, incredible friends and a family that is creative, lively and built to last.
Jesus is preparing his disciples for the hard times ahead. Not just for the end of time but for the blow back and terror that was upon them. The ardor of the people had stirred a great hate in the religious leaders and it would boil into terror and destruction. Jealousy often does. But his words to them are words to us as well. When the worst of the worst bears down upon us, God will stir up the power of love, sending angels to gather us from the farthest corners and making us whole again and better than ever. Native people have learned this lesson over and over again, that when people steal from us and send us away from beloved homelands, the Creator, the one God, will gather us all together and make us new, and restore the broken circle. We are invited as they days grow cold and the skies darken too soon, to turn and look, for God is coming and our salvation is indeed near. Love is breaking out despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
Today, I ask God to help me focus on the signs of the in-breaking of God's reign. May my eyes look to the horizon, to the beauty and love that is breaking through the cruel darkness and the heartless greed, and to the love which cannot be help back by our pain or failure. May my words and my song be always ready for the presence of love. And may we all look up for the reign of love is drawing near.