Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now


Often in our house, family feuds are quelled with the hackneyed phrase “It’s not the end of the world”.  Of course it never is, except when it could be.  In the last months, news of the quarrelsome ‘inner child’ of Washington and Pyongyang seems unquellable as they toss dangerous toys across other countries or make dark threats to unleash horror.  What a tragedy if life was to end with the Tweet of a Washington peacock or the ego of a self elected Pyongyang demi-god.  It has been like journeying up river into the madness and heart of darkness in the 1970 film ‘Apocalypse Now’.


But let’s not get too pessimistic.  Jesus reassures us not to worry about the dark omens in our world. It is a promise guaranteed with his own death and resurrection. Jesus went through that inescapable apocalypse which we all face – death.  He came out the other side, offering us real hope.  As a parent I can say “It’s not the end of the world”, not from blind faith, but because I have passed through some of life’s trials.  We all have to face our own apocalypse.  And so it is with Jesus who offers himself as an alternative path.  He has gone before us.


Faced with corrupt religious authorities and Roman oppression, Jesus chose a path of humiliation and sacrifice, rather than power and domination. Confronting those who had betrayed him after his resurrection, including his own followers, Jesus chose love, forgiveness and blessing, rather than anger and retribution.


We can press the red button of destruction in our day-to-day life, throw our toys across the room or seek this other way.  It is not an easy choice.  We will often fail.  Mysteriously, God is with us in our own apocalypse.  It is where we are closest to his own death and resurrection.  It is where our frail humanity and need for God is laid most bare, our Colonel Kurtz madness most exposed.


I hope your apocalypse is not now, but if it is, I pray you can hold onto Jesus who goes before us.  Jesus has overcome our greatest apocalypse – death itself, so we can have life, be confident of the future and live without fear, knowing with him “It’s not the end of the world” and it never will be.