End of the World?

I like to take walks when my schedule allows during my workday. The fresh air helps, the sunshine warms my face and fingers, and it feels good to get the blood moving when I’m in a cold office all day. Sometimes I talk to God or on the phone to friends or family. Usually, I’m listening to music. Christian or some good ol’ 90s hip hop. Today, I was listening to Christina Aguilera, singing, knowing I sounded nothing like her and also glad I didn’t care.

I noticed the sky. A beautiful path of sunshine shining through a darker cloud. Breathtaking, but also a pale comparison to what I imagine the clouds will look like when Jesus returns. When the skies open up for all to see. When life as we know it will be forever changed for those who believe. Our bodies made new, our debts paid, and our future secure in His presence forever and always. The end of our world.

I took a quick picture and kept walking, thinking about that glorious day in our future. I sampled a few filters on my photo but went back to none. It looked the best. A glimpse of Glory in real life.

As I continued to walk, I noticed cars driving into a recreation center nearby. It was surrounded by political signs and I saw a line of people waiting to get in. It was the line to vote.

This year, 2020, has been tumultuous, to say the least. So much unrest. So much change. Unprecedented closures and restrictions. Viruses and protests. Anger and sadness. Fear and change. Loss and political bias.

This year’s election feels exceptionally electrically charged. Emotional. Like it is THE cause and THE cure for all our problems. Like the outcome of this election may very well be the end of the world to many. Like they won’t be able to bear living here if one or the other is elected. Both sides. Like it’s the end of the world.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote. I’m not saying our votes don’t matter or make a difference. I’m just saying the outcome is not the true end of the world.

I feel like God pointed out the legit end of this world to me when He drew my attention to that little bit of sky opening. Like His kind heart was reminding me and hoping to remind others, that what seems so important and life-altering won’t change one iota of His plan for us.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:4-5 (ERV)

THIS will be the end of our world.

With voters in line on my right and the sky opening on my left, perspective was made clear. An eternal perspective reminds us that, election included, God is bigger. Just like the picture I took shows a glimpse of what His return will be like, this election pales in comparison to what His plans for us are. Regardless of who gets elected. God already knows and His plans won’t be deterred because of it.

The devil would love for us to think that whoever our next president is will fix everything or ruin everything. But, just like the rest of us, they are both fallen human beings too. And they won’t have all the answers or perfect solutions. Problems will still be here. Death will still be here. Crime will still be here. Corrupt cops will still be here. Racists will still be here. Because sin will still be here.

Our country’s next president pales in comparison to what God did for us and will do for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. HE is bigger than all this and HE is coming back.

May we lean into that joy and promise when the grief, confusion, or disappointment of this year takes hold. The enemy wants us to think the end of our world is coming on November 4th, the day after. My gut tells me we’ll still be counting or recounting ballots, although I hope not. My gut and my Bible also tells me things will only get worse after this election. Regardless of who is elected. Until His glorious return. That’s how it’s written. But, for those of us who claim Jesus as our Savior, we GET to look forward to those clouds parting. When it’s all said and done. When God says so.

So, for those who think the world will end if your guy isn’t elected, I raise my glass, and say I hope so!! Because that means the clouds will open and future elections and airborne viruses will be no more. And we’ll be on our way to a place where donkeys and elephants will lie as peacefully together as lions and lambs. With the rest of God’s creations.

Continue reading “End of the World?”

What Are You?

What are you? Male, female, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, American, immigrant, Republican, Democrat…? How about human?

If I were to ask you what church you go to, we’d also have many different answers. Some may not even go at all…But, when the religion question comes up, what do you say first? Baptist, Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist, Methodist…? How about Christian? I think this says a lot about what we value most.

Do you consider yourself your denomination over Christian? Are we all brothers and sisters in Christ first? Or does your particular denomination shame or discredit others for being different? What was Jesus? His nationality was Jewish, but it’s because of Him that we can even claim Christianity at all. Did He belong to a certain church? He preached in synagogues, on sea shores and mounts, but He also seemed to get on to the church folks more than any others.

He’s why we worship or should be. Denominations are formed by different interpretations of the Bible. Personally, I am a Christian who, at this point in my life, attends and serves at a Seventh-day Adventist church. I love my church and the people in it. I may not be happy with everything going on in it, but maybe that’s exactly why I’m there.

Since there are no perfect people, I can assume there must be no perfect church on earth either since they are made up of just that, people. Their ideologies, theologies, policies, doctrines, interpretations of scripture. I also think there are wonderful churches everywhere because I think there are wonderful Jesus following people in them. May we each be one where we are.

May we all serve Him where we are called and shine His light in all denominational congregations. May we love like Jesus to the best of our ability right where we are and especially in church. Sometimes they need it the most. May we go where He asks us to go. Because, one day, one sweet day, we’ll all be together. Regardless of the biases and prejudices associated.

There are enough prejudices in this world already, may we be increasingly aware that denominations do this too and may we try to be different and gracious about it.

I believe each one of us who claim Jesus will worship together in heaven. There won’t be six different churches to choose from on the streets of gold. We will be Christians who proclaimed His name above all others and clung to Him here like He clung to that cross for us.

So…what are you??