these are some notes i made for our meal and gathering last weekend. they are most certainly notes and therefore quite unfinished in terms of style and grammar. hope that doesn't detract too far from what i was getting at...
When we read scriptures about the end times we are easily lead to believe they are specifically warning us about sometime in the (distant) future when all hell breaks loose. But if we imagine more broadly about the roots of the apocalyptic we’re soon aware that these times of great reckoning may already be upon us.
Apocalyptic is ‘the revealing’ – it is when we come to see differently. Our eyes are softened &, paradoxically, sharpened; softened so that we are less focused on the universe of things our fearful, consumeristic, materialistic, militaristic, hedonistic culture is obsessed with, and sharpened to see the radical and cosmic newness of the kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven – poor fed, lonely embraced, hope restored, earth healed, justice and reconciliation worked out. The biggest hurdle to our properly seeing is the “reality check.” It sounds something like this…“now come on, you have to be realistic about the world.”
The medicine for this affliction of “reality” is a bent toward the warped. To reinvigorate our imaginations and receive eyes to see we must pay attention to distortions. Stories that warp and mess with our carefully ordered lives. Flannery O’Connor is a master of this kind of writing. The trickster is another one who can help us. We need to learn to give ourselves over to the distortion that is revealed – principally the supreme distortion that is caught up in the life death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
And so we remember this communion we are invited to.
This apocalyptic table. This meal of reorientation where we bring our whole lives back to the center of the new universe, where the future is dragged kicking and screaming in to the present moment. Here we are forced to struggle with the meaning of this story, the story of Jesus, and we must be encouraged because through this struggle a new world is being born. And this could be the way the end times arrive – not in a cataclysmic ~storm but in the day-to-day , moment-by-moment struggles and faithfulness of the people who follow Jesus.