This Is The End?


I'm sitting in a coffee shop that would ordinarily be jammed with people.  I'm all by myself in a secluded corner where there happens to be an outlet to plug in my computer, and I'm sipping a cup of coffee.

In between sips, I am wearing my mask, which now smells like coffee.

A few months ago, I would be sitting here surrounded by people and my glasses wouldn't be steaming up every five seconds because the mask I'm wearing isn't fitting all that well around my nose.

Sometimes it feels like we're characters in one of those end-of-the-world movies, doesn't it?

I keep expecting a plague of frogs... or the rivers to start turning to blood... or worse yet---maybe a Charlton Heston sighting.

Come to think of it, Chuck Heston was not only Moses in The10 Commandments movie, but he also starred in The Planet of the Apes, and he was in Soylent Green, which was a pretty terrible apocalyptic movie in its own right.

So a Chuck Heston sighting would be pretty terrible at this point.  Only you wouldn't know it was Chuck at first because he would be wearing a mask... 

I feel like I'm talking too much at this point. This is what happens to me when I think about these things too deeply.

Because I'm a pastor, people will often ask me about this situation we are in with the coronavirus crisis and all of the rest of the world that appears to be going to hell in a handbasket.   

I will often get asked if I think we are living in the "end times," which is a loaded question, for sure.  The people who ask this could be wondering if they should be expecting the Rapture to happen... or the battle of Armageddon...  

For the record, it's not the end of the world.  The reason why I know this is because there's still work to be done, injustices to be made right, Creation to save, and light to shine.  

I've also read the end of the Book (you know, the Book) and it has an awesome ending. And the ending is summed up in this statement I've been pondering from one of the great thinkers and saints of the Church, St. Augustine:  
In the end, there will only be Christ, loving himself. 
So, it doesn't matter what is happening in the world around you.  Christ is in the midst of it.  It's all a great rhythm of dying and rising---of new life and new birth out of what was left for dead.  Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:  
Everything you have ever seen with your eyes is the infinite self-emptying of God, and what goes around comes back around. 
How can you not be amazed by it all when you think of it this way?  This is not the end... not by a long shot.  It's a beginning.  

And there will be more seasons ahead when it will feel like the end, only for new life to burst forth, defying our expectations once again.  You just need to stay still and wait for it.  

And believe...  

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

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