United Church of Christ

The Unknown End

“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest, neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” - Luke 8:17 (KJV)

Sometimes I truly believe that if I just knew where things were heading, how things would all end up, I’d be fine. I would know about me and how I fit in with “it.”

My spirit sings, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

I often feel like I live in Poe’s 1844 short story, “The Purloined Letter.” The letter is hidden in plain sight on the table, but the detectives don’t see it. I, like them, am eschatologically challenged.

The beginning of How Beautiful We Were, by Imbolo Mbue, captures it too: “We should have known the end was near. How could we not have known? When the sky began to pour acid and rivers began to turn green, we should have known our land would soon be dead. Then again, how could we know what they didn’t want us to know?” The novel explores an African village’s environmental and colonial crisis.

So, here is my theory about what we don’t know, just in case you want to know the secret and un-purloin yourself:

God’s plan is to make us One.

God’s plan is to mix up the human race so well that we won’t be able to use the word “other” anymore. That’s where we are going. Then there will be no secret for Alfie to worry over. We will all be one and we will know each other, and we will know what is going on with all of us.

Prayer
Holy God, let us rule by your gold – the gold of self as other. Amen.

Donna SchaperAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

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