Tuesday, 3 January 2017
The End of the Age.
""Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.'" Matthew 13:40 (NRSV)
There was a general belief in the time of Jesus that the end of the age was approaching. And at that time God would judge between the good and the evil and the good would be vindicated and the evil would be destroyed.
But this is not what happened.
What happened was that the light - the message of Jesus - was persecuted and killed and the powers of the earth usurped his Church.
"'Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'" Matthew 5:11 (NRSV)
"'Truly I tell you there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age - houses, brothers, sisters, mothers and children and fields, with persecutions - and in the age to come eternal life.'" Mark 10:29,30 (NRSV)
In these passages Jesus predicts the persecution of the light and the reward of those who adhere to it.
But we would be wrong to think that Jesus' mission was a complete failure. Some of the light survived the persecution and even the take-over of his religion.
So that now we have a Church which, like the Jewish Temple, is a patchwork of light and darkness.
It is our job to collect the fragments of light.
And make no mistake, if we are not diligent, the new revelation which is coming now will meet the same fate.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]
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