The news and entertainment folks have been having a field day with the prediction of the end of the world. Why, David Letterman even went so far as to put up his own “bucket list,” “Top Ten Things I, Dave, Need to do before the end of the world,” on May 20, 2011 – the day before the alleged judgment of the world.
I’m not so impressed with making fun of a self-styled prophet (who works up calculations based on his own ideas) as I am astonished at the way this item was deemed “news-worthy.” The Letterman gag is just one of thousands of examples of people taking the end-time business as laughable. A better way of dealing with the subject would surely have to explore the vision of good people concerning the end of all things that hurt our neighbors, things like violence, abuse, theft, murder, gossip, immorality, (you get the idea) and even death itself.
With so much emphasis on the anger of an all-powerful personage who threatens to wreak vengeance on all but the special people, it’s surprising to see that other visions exist – and are likewise found in the Bible. For instance, the end of the world is predicted to be a time when all people will be relieved of tears and sorrows and invited to a super celebration where the best foods and the priciest wines will be served. (See Isaiah 25:1-9)
Short of the final end of time and matter, however, life goes on here on the earth with which the Creator has blessed us all – and assigns an office of protection to the responsible care of good political leaders and honorable police, fire, and national defense persons of every rank and tradition. Under the care of such ministering angels, all people are blessed – as one might observe – with their daily bread. For where the peace and safety are preserved, the farmer is able to plough, plant, and harvest – and the miller is able to grind – and the baker is able to bake – and the head of the household is able to provide all that is needed to the family around the table.
I pray, therefore, for the end of the world’s sufferings and injustices. I pray for the safety and strengthening of all who bear the office of peace-keeper, thwarting the designs of all evil-doers and encouraging the harmonious interaction of all people everywhere. In this light, I honor and respect all public servants and all involved in the care of others – and I’m proud to be identified as a chaplain to the Long Island Shields.
Chap. James G. Anderson