Saturday, November 27, 2010
First Advent: Oh What Rapture!
Advent with its focus on the End Times makes me think of my distant Quaker ancestors who were flogged in Massachusetts and chased out of the Puritan Holy Land to New Jersey. If anyone had cause to feel vindictive, then they did. Being the Quakers that they were, they put aside anger and concentrated on trying to be the best Christians they could be as Quakers understood it.
I grew up in a region of the USA that was always a little too fond of apocalyptic revenge fantasies. There is always more than a little element of revenge in all apocalyptic writings (including secular ones). In the end, the righteous are always rewarded for their long-suffering fidelity, and their persecutors are always punished. I remember people who spent all their free time pouring over the apocalyptic books of the Bible, especially Revelations, Daniel, Ezekiel, and the apocalyptic passages in Matthew and John. They would study their Bibles with the aid of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and the Fort Worth Star Telegram looking for conclusive proof that the End Times were here and that the final Battle of Armageddon was nigh.
My Quaker ancestors believed that our first task as Christians was to live out the Great Commandment to love each other as God loves us, to love our neighbors as ourselves. They thought that task was more than enough to consume all of our energies. It's not that they didn't believe in the End Times, they just thought it was none of our business. It was God's business to dispose of as He sees fit in His own good time.
But for those of you who need that End Times frisson, here is the Doomsday Whistle:
Posted by Counterlight at Saturday, November 27, 2010