Happy End-of-May Day!
I sat on my butt in the front border of our yard digging out weeds and grass so that the roses and azaleas might fare a bit better. The man who mows and does other yard work for our across-the-street neighbor was talking to her quite animatedly. I could only get the highlights, the stock phrases of his speech; but my mind could fill in most of the details. Here are a few snippets of his words:
"Barack Obama says the discussion is over..."
"...taking us straight to the Book of Daniel..."
"...leading us to socialism..."
"when all the governments become socialist they will all decide to just become one world government..."
"...leading us straight to the Book of Daniel..."
To him, it's all pre-determined. It's laid out in prophecy which he takes (only) literally, because that's how his mind works. His scenario is that God will send Christ back to suck a few good guys out of the world and then put the rest of humanity and creation for which Christ died through a Cuisinart of sorts to squeeze the blood out of the remaining ones and then eternally incinerate everybody and everything with the great cosmic acetylene torch. Or maybe it's a nuclear torch. Heck, maybe it's nuc-U-lar.
Old Martin Luther took a few steps back from Scripture 500 years ago to ask what its point was, what lens we should use to view it all, how we could make sense of the seeming bi-polar nature of God. Was God passive-aggressive, bi-polar, manic-depressive? Could God be trusted? If so, how could we know this? Should we give more weight to certain parts of Scripture, certain types of literature, than others? If so, how?
His solution was the question "Does it make the most of Christ?"
It might help us to remember that Moses' intercession changed God's mind about Israel. It might help us to remember that Nineveh's repentance disappointed Jonah greatly because the planned holocaust was called off by God. It ain't all fixed.
If in our day all we look for in the future is an inexorable march to destruction for the many, salvation for the few, does it make the most of Christ?
More importantly, do we?