Sunday, May 8, 2011
The end is coming
I normally do not pay much attention to all of this crazy stuff but this is especially appropriate since the date in question comes right after my 33 wedding anniversary. Could there be something to this? Will we not make it to 34? Or does it matter?
It is amazing how interested the world is in those who purport to know its end date. It is even more amazing how little the world is interested in the One who came to prepare us not merely for its end but for the beginning of the heavenly life for which our Lord traversed space and time to become incarnate in the womb of the Virgin, suffer and die for the sins of the whole world, and rise again to give us the life that death cannot overcome. It is even more and more amazing how many Christians are abuzz about this but who don't get the least bit excited that Christ stands in our midst on Sunday morning, the Lord of life and death, bringing to us the gifts of His kingdom, and feeding us the foretaste of this blessed feast to come.
Luther famously suggested that if he knew the end were coming tomorrow, he would plant an apple tree today. In this way I wish we were all Johnny Appleseeds who were so focused on the gift of the present and the promise of the future that we were not swayed by the changes and chances of this mortal life -- or the prospect of its end. It is this that I strive for, often failing but always striving to live so in the moment of God's grace that it frames who I am and what I do -- even more so that it frames the end of all days. For this reason, we are Eucharistic Christians whose life and future are the stuff of bread which is His body and wine which is His blood. For this reason we eat today the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation -- right along with the bread of our affliction -- and we are comforted, consoled, and encouraged. For this reason we eat today that which not only satisfies our need and want for now but builds within us the hunger and thirst for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which is to come, in His Kingdom without end...
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That Luther said he would plant an apple tree today if he knew the Lord were coming tomorrow cannot be verified in his writings. It seems this is another Luther myth, unless someone can produce this citation.
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