Saturday the date predicted for the end of the world came and went.
I did a graveside service Saturday morning and a young woman there was talking about the buzz on the internet that the world still was here.
At the same time, she said that in the words of my message at the graveside, words about endings and beginnings, that all she heard was “rapture” with every line.
Now it could be that the man who predicted this was right, and we are all left behind.
Or, he was a day late and it was Sunday and those people killed in Missouri were the chosen ones.
This is not to make light of the suffering and damage that the tornado caused.
I believe that we have our “raptures” and our “ end of the worlds” every day. We all do . We all have our endings and beginnings. The people of Slave Lake know this, the people flooded out in Manitoba know this. If you have every been part of a tragedy, if something has happened to you that was out of control and unexpected hit you.. you know that there are endings and beginnings.
In the midst of it we have the words of Isaiah 43 ( selected verses with lots of proof texting!)
…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you… 4Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you,
At the graveside on Saturday, I said that life is like a rose. It has beauty and it has thorns. Life has beauty and it has pain. Sometimes it feels like life is a thorn bush with some flowers. The challenge is to acknowledge the thorns but to focus on the beauty of the flowers, the gift of life itself.
In the midst of whatever comes our way, whatever life brings to us, we are held in the steadfast love of God. IT’s hard to feel it, but this is the promise. The love of God comes to us in the caring presence of a loved one, in a telephone call asking how we are, in the simply beauty of the morning, in birdsong (even at 4:00 am!), in the beauty of flowers and the pulsing beat of life itself.
I’d rather be left behind.
What about you?