“Jesus asked them, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.'” – Mark 13:2
Once a visitor to our church asked me, “What does this church teach about the end of the world?” I answered her in two words: “Not much.”
Even Jesus didn’t know when the end of the world was coming, perhaps because we live in a world without end, a universe without limits. Transition? Change? Adjustment? Yes, all the time. We are crossing over from one reality to the next.
In significant times of crossing over (graduation, childbirth, death) we might feel like things are coming unglued. That’s how a lot of us feel when we look at the world today with its global warming, terrorism, fiscal cliffs, grid-locked government. We really are at a pivotal point in human history… which is where we have always been.
Church futurist, Phyliss Tickle, was famous for her thesis that every 500 years or so, the Church reinvents itself: Constantine in the late 4th century; the Great Schism of the 11th century; the Reformation in the 16th century; and right now in the 21st century, something new is emerging. Jesus looked at the religious structures of his day and predicted they will all come tumbling down because God was cleaning house for a new era.
Christianity (and life) is all about crossing over. As people of the cross, this is not only an obvious message but a hopeful one. Because resurrection is on the other side of the cross, we know that the end of one world is only the beginning of another.
In many places in your life, you are transitioning and crossing over. Embrace it and trust that Christ, who is the timeless Alpha and Omega, is with you every step of the way.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.