Apocalypse Now

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift….

The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon. And I say “Amen. Even So. Lord Jesus Come.” – St. John in Revelation 22

On September 23, 2017, an American Evangelical Christian, and self-described, “specialist in research and investigations,” David Meade, claimed that a sign prophesied in the Book of Revelation would occur over the city of Jerusalem and that the world as we know it would end. He wrote that the “rapture” would occur and the period of “tribulation” would begin that would be marked by destruction, wars, and natural calamity on earth. He said with only slightly veiled excitement, “The apocalypse is here!”

The word apocalypse In Greek (In English: Revelation): ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, translated literally is “through the concealed.”  An apocalypse is a disclosure of knowledge, a lifting of the veil or revelation. In religious contexts it usually refers to bringing something hidden to light.

September 23 came and went. (And we had an extraordinarily powerful worship at UCH on September 24).  But David Meade is right about one thing. The apocalypse IS here.  It’s not the “Left Behind” style apocalypse that David and some of our theologically conservative Christian siblings long for. We are not going to be raptured out of here in dispensationalist ecstasy by our like-minded divine rescuer and savior so we get to avoid the mess we have made.

Instead, as tears stream down God’s face as Her/His beloved in Puerto Rico, Houston, the Florida Keys, Mexico City, India, and Africa suffer from flood and earthquake, as transgender young people are violently assaulted and murdered, as the healthcare of the most vulnerable is in jeopardy, and as we rend our clothing about the national anthem and flag- while completely forgetting that the chaos we have created started as a protest about racial injustice- WE are called to be God’s hands, eyes, and hearts in the world. WE are called to watch and listen. WE are called to shout out prophetic warning; eyes and hearts wide open as the forces of evil and sin suck us down rabbit holes of white, heterosexual, American, cisgender privilege, and classism, into chaos, and darkness.

It is here, in that darkness, that the apocalypse washes over us. It is here that we are decentered.  It is here that the (sometimes barely) hidden will be revealed and we will become aware of what others have long experienced and known.  It is here that the loving voice of our Still-Speaking God unveils our Shadow and invites us to a deepening spiritual journey of life, death, and resurrection.

So it is here- we stand as Americans, as spiritual seekers, and as part of this beloved community, with darkness and chaos swirling around and within us.  I invite you to join me in fully embracing this unfolding disclosure of knowledge- this Revelation/apocalypse as part of our spiritual journey. God will embrace us and stand with us, as we do this hard work of embracing and standing- and as we lift the veil together- with authenticity, integrity, love, and resistance to empire.   

Yes Friends. The apocalypse is here.  And in the words of St John the Revealer, “Amen. Even so. Lord Jesus Come.”   -Rev. Jeanne