as depicted so well in my previous post by Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine cartoon fame, R.E.M. had something when they came up with their hit song that 73% of people know the two words “Leonard Bernstein” [but is it pronounced Steen or Styn? another mystery] to – It’s the end of the world as we know it.
with Australia and Americaland being on different days for a huge portion of any 24 hour period, it was always going to be a bit of a feat for the Apocalypse to arrive on precisely one calendar day only and presumably by the time your Australian friend stopped replying to your frenetic “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” messages, you probably wouldn’t even have time to reach for your closest can of beans.
and so, no, the world hasn’t ended.
but it has ended as we know it. in fact it does that every day. unless there was some way for it to be completely frozen in every possible manner of time, energy and space, the day we wake up to is not the day we left behind. the world has changed. and more importantly our world has changed.
the question we have to ask ourselves [well maybe ‘have’ is a strong word cos i imagine most people don’t] is, ‘Is the world a better place today because of how i lived yesterday?’ and the more relevant question of ‘Will the world be a better place tomorrow because of how i choose to live today?’
this is a question of selflessness, service and Love vs. ego, pride and selfishness
it’s a question of community, congregation and fellowship vs. individualism, materialism and consumption
and it is a question of how am i involved in reaching out to those who are marginalised and lonely, considered by the world to be ‘the least of these’?
Jesus seemed to have a very strong opinion on that… and so if you call yourself a Jesus follower, this is quite probably something you should take note of:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
i guess, the question is, as far as you are concerned… it is the end of the world, as you know it. do you feel fine?