The end is near... or is it?
The typical image of a sandwich board and a fringe-riding stranger tells the ordinary citizen to stay away. Whatever his thing, the stranger is broadcasting a weird message about the end of the world and who has time for this nonsense?
What prompts my thinking and this blog today is the announcement of yet another shooting in the US. And again it's at a place of worship. Six months ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a crazed man killed 11 Jewish people in the Tree of Life Synagogue, Last month a shooter at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand killed 50 of the 100 innocent people who were shot. In February/ March this year at least 30 Nigerian Christians were killed while worshipping and torched the church! Here's the link:Then last Sunday in Sri Lanka, on Easter morning, approximately 250 people were killed, including at least 42 foreign nationals and three police officers, and at least 500 were injured.
So when I heard about 4 more people being shot at a synagogue in California, and one of them dying already, I thought 'the end is nigh." Maybe those sandwich board last-days announcers are right. Maybe the end is near!
And maybe it's not the end of the world as we know it, although it feels like that. If religious centers are not safe, where is a safe place?
In my email box today I learned of the death of my first cousin in Arizona in the US. He was found at home last week. We were not especially close, but we frequently wrote to each other and kept up, especially since our shared grandmother passed away a few decades ago. He had a lot of health issues including leukemia, and he lived on borrowed time to be sure. In 1992 he had bone marrow transplant. Here he is singing with some mates 9 years ago. He lived as fully as he could, but his end came this week.
I'm delighted to think about and share with you his reunion with his son and grandson in March. They hadn't seen each other in two years. Three generations enjoyed two days together in what would be their final time together.
The Sri Lankan police are marching, and today, just one week after the church bombings, 15 more Sri Lankan citizens are dead, including some children in a raid on suspected terrorists implicated in the bombings last Sunday.
The end is nigh.
At least the end for those 15, for the 250 last Sunday, for the Jewish worshipper in San Diego, for my cousin Jeff.
And for you.
And for me.
On the other side of this life -- what is there? The Bible makes it clear that eternity awaits us. It awaits everyone, even those who don't believe there is anything beyond the grave. Truth is not dependent on your faith. Whether you believe Jesus rose from the dead or don't believe that... neither of those faith statements makes a bit of difference about what happened. Truth is not dependent on your belief; if you are smart, your faith should depend on the truth!
So what awaits you? Where will you spend eternity? With the Righteous One, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah? Or will it be the other place-- where you will be all alone in the despair of rejecting him?
The end is nigh!