June 20, 2012
2 Peter 3:10
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed."
Reflection by Molly Baskette
When I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, the movie "2012" had just come out on DVD. Being someone who can't look away from train wrecks—vomit on the street, B action movies advertising Armageddon, etc. - I had to watch it. Of course, it freaked me out a little. I'm surprisingly superstitious for someone who claims to be a person of faith.
Then my mind did an interesting reframe. "What if," I said to my husband, "God gave me and a bunch of other people cancer right now so that we would live our lives to the fullest, here in these last 18 months? What if cancer is a reward and not a punishment?"
I don't really believe in the God Who Giveth Cancer, but I do believe in the God Who Lures Us Toward the Good with Whatever Comes Our Way.
That said, the world is going to end sooner or later, at God's hands or at our own. When I think about the end of the world, because I do—perhaps now more than ever, and more personally - —I think: "Well, either I'm a) dying and going Home, b) dying and going On, c) dying and going nowhere, in which case I won't be there to feel foolish for having believed in an afterlife, or d) surviving the catastrophe that will kill most of Creation, in which case I hope I turn out to be brave and relatively selfless and care more for my fellow creatures than I do for holing up in a bunker with lots of Dinty Moore Beef Stew."
What were you doing last year when the end of the world was predicted, twice (unsuccessfully, it would seem)? Did it change what you're doing today?
God of Beginnings and Endings and Beginnings Again, Help us to live every day as if it were our last, because one of these days, we're going to be right. Amen.
About the Author
Molly Baskette is Senior Minister at First Church Somerville UCC, in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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