On a recent podcast, I heard one of the speakers mention that we are living in “apocalyptic” times and they went on to tease out what they meant using that term. Because the word “apocalypse,” has a religious basis having been lifted from the Bible, it is commonly misused and misinterpreted by most.
Admit it. What do you think when you hear the word, apocalypse? I’ll bet your mind’s eye moved to hellfire, death, and damnation; destruction of every sort including a picture of flesh-eating zombies or scenes from the movie, The Purge. But to tell the truth what we culturally believe apocalypse means and its usage in the Scripture and its original meaning are as different as night and day.
From the Greek, apokaluptein, which means to reveal or uncover, comes the word, apocalypse. We commonly use the word, revelation in contemporary English today. In fact, in Greek the last book of the Bible is called, “The Apocalypse (of Jesus the Messiah to John).” Revelation—Apocalypse—Hmmmm. I suspect that we readers of Scripture got so caught up in the imagery and symbolism that we focused on what was NOT instead of what WAS being revealed about the nature of all creation; that its beginning and ending is in the Christ (consciousness).
So back to the podcast. The speaker was noting how this COVID-19 event was quite apocalyptic in the purest sense of the word. It is revealing much about ourselves as a people—what is essential and non-essential, the disparities of life in the United States of America, and other unsightly things we’d rather not see and try hard not to see when we can. Alas, the conversation has turned to all of the blind spots and holes that are a part of our common life revealed by the advent of this new microbe and how unjust and oppressive the holes and blinds spots are for many of our nation’s peoples.
In fact, so much has been revealed that we can hardly afford to return to “business as usual” when COVID-19 becomes a memory. So, what do you do with revelations like these? I ask questions, of course.
I wonder, am I prepared to make uncomfortable or inconvenient personal changes to accommodate a truly “new normal.” We know that our material/physical normal has and will be changed, but what about our non-material, spiritual one? Can I, shall I, will I choose to change to the degree that our society is actually transformed from the inside out? What will be required of me? Can I do it? Will I choose to do it? Can we, as Church, actually live out in our lives what we profess by our faith? Am I prepared to accommodate new wine in new wine skins? Just wondering. Are you?
With Much Love and Many Prayers,