Sitting on the Mount of Olives, maybe with a premonition or maybe wondering if all that seemed to be approaching was really the undoing he dreaded, Jesus talked to his disciples about the coming end. He made the point that when worlds change, God comes, which is different from saying that when God comes, worlds change. He talked in poetry of a collapsing world to come. Collapsing worlds always offer the opportunity to meet
God in new and unexpected ways. Our own deaths are undoubtedly the most drastic, but also the death of someone we love, a church in transition, shifting roles for men and women, a computerized age that blips and bleeps across our life screens, and empty-nesting, and retirement, and marrying, and any other cosmic readjustment that you can think of. That’s when the Son of Man comes, for the second time or maybe a third or fourth time, and it tends to put us in a fog, as if he were coming in the clouds.
Most of us struggle mightily to keep our worlds from collapsing. We’ve worked too hard to set them spinning in orbit around our own personal suns. Yet sooner or later they always do collapse, maybe because they lose their momentum, maybe because we lose our energy, or maybe that’s just the way it’s meant to be. Whatever the reason, those are the moments when our God comes riding into our lives.
—Rev. Joseph J. Juknialis
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