There’s going to be a blood moon tonight–a complete lunar eclipse. This isn’t particularly unusual…but what is somewhat unusual is that it’s the first of four eclipses in a row that will be visible from North America…and this one is occurred while the Earth, Mars, the sun, and the moon are all aligned.
Because of all of that, there’s been a lot of talk about this being the beginning of “the end times”–the end of the world.
This isn’t unusual. There’s always a lot of talking about “the end times” whenever something unusual (at least, unusual to us!) occurs astronomically. We always seem to be ready to find some religious significance in events that are not part of our usual activity.
Yes, I know there are lots of scriptures. Matthew 24:29-31 talks about a time when the sun and moon will be dark, the stars will fall from the sky, and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. Luke 21:11 talks about earthquakes and famines. Other scriptures talk about how horribly people will treat each other.
And so, every time there’s an unusual astronomical event, these scriptures get pulled out by many who seem to live by what I would call a fearful Christianity.
But there are also other scriptures that talk about no one knowing when the end of time will be. NO one.
One of the things that distresses me about these “discussions” is that they always seem to focus on making sure that one has the right beliefs so that they can be saved. There’s not a lot of concern about others who may not be part of one’s own community.
And that just seems so wrong to me.
The way I read Christ’s mission, he was concerned about people’s lives in the here and now. Were they at peace–both with themselves and with others? Were they in right relationships? Were they living in ways that bring wholeness and reconciliation? He came to show people that God cared (and cares) for each one, no matter their religion, their economic status, their gender, or any of the other things that we allow to bring divisions between us.
If this particular event were to be the beginning of the “end times,” what difference would it make in my life? Would I change how I behave? my daily activities?
I hope not. I would like to think that I am living in a way that it doesn’t matter when the end time comes, whether it’s the eschatatological end times…or whether it’s my own mortality. Because in the end, it really doesn’t matter. The end times are going to come for each of us, and–at least to my way of thinking and understanding my faith tradition of Christianity–if I am truly living out what I believe, then I have no reason to worry. Not because I know I’m believing the correct beliefs to be saved…but because I’m doing my best to share what I understand to be God’s love with others in ways that bring healing and wholeness…shalom…in my interactions with them…and them with me.