If Atlas Falls


For some strange reason, I've been doing a lot of thinking about facing the unknown lately... That was a joke, albeit a very poor one.  Everything is just so damnably uncertain, isn't it?  It's dizzying to try to comprehend it.

Most days I can sort of fool myself into thinking that everything is fine... that the bad news in the world is happening somewhere else.  But now and again it hits home that things are not fine.  In fact, they are pretty far from fine.

And it's in those moments of clarity that I start wondering about the future, and what it could look like.  I begin to think about how long it will be before we'll be able to go to the movies... to a concert... attend church together in-person, and I am tempted to retreat back into the fantasy of everything being fine.

This is why it seems to me that now more than ever we need better ways to think and talk about what is happening around us.  We need to be able to place our current situation within a larger, cosmic framework, a bigger story if you will.

I believe it's within that cosmic framework that we are able to see God at work even in the middle of all of this uncertainty.  I believe when we pull back our view we can see more clearly that we are moving toward something brighter and better.

It takes courage to do this, along with the unwavering faith that the arc of where we are heading is bending toward justice, righteousness, unity, healing, wholeness, and peace.  

In short, we need to trust in God and hold one another up, and we'll get through this to a brighter day.

I've been listening to a song off and on for the past several weeks that has sparked my imagination in this.  The song is entitled "Atlas Falls" by the group Shinedown, and the lyrics go something like this: 

We'll never make it outside
Lest we unlock the past and release
The future that we've left to die
For too long we've taken placebos

But the unknown is awakening

Don't give up now, there's already so much at stake
If Atlas falls, I'll rise up and carry us all the way


Come on!  Don't you just love that?  It's time to let go of the way we used to do things and come together.  If everything falls apart, we'll hold each other up.  

In his recent book The Spirit of Hope, theologian Jurgen Moltmann outlines an affirmation that we can speak/pray together.  So, don't be shy... read these words out loud with me: 
  • In the eternal yes of the living God, we affirm our fragile and vulnerable humanity in spite of death. 
  • In the eternal love of God, we love life and resist its devastations. 
  • In the ungraspable nearness of God, we trust in what is saving, even if the dangers are growing.  
May you have hope and joy in the midst of what seems like peril.  May you have the courage to reach out to one another even though we must keep our physical distance.  May you dream of a better day that is coming and is now.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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