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Winter 2010

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Winter 2010 - Department | St. Alban’s Minute

St. Alban’s Minute with The Rev. Daniel L. Leatherman

Jesus spoke to his disciples. “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines.” Mark 13:7-8

In November 2009, the movie “2012” was released into theatres. A science fiction thriller, based upon predictions of an ancient Mayan calendar that predicted the end of the earth on December 12, 2012, it is an apocalyptic film filled with disaster, destruction and the heroic struggle of those left to survive.

Hollywood is replete with images and movies about the end of time.  Regardless of how much stock you put into these predictions by some regarding such apocalyptic dates (there have been many throughout history - remember “Y2K”?), what these moments do is help us think about how fleeting time really is, of what is truly valuable to us. How do you spend time?  How will you live this day?

The new year is a good time to take stock of how we spend our time in a world that is committed to letting us know just how little there is, of how fast time goes; a world where time management is an issue; a world in which there are so many problems that even if we had all the time in the world, we might never fully solve them.

Jesus’ words are of little comfort when it comes to predicting the end of time.  No age has been without war, earthquakes, famine, or plagues.  Sadly, these events seem to never cease. But in describing the condition, he also invites a response.

One response would be to give into the fear, to live as a people without hope or light, succumbing to the darkness of despair. The problems of our communities in this day and age whether they are affordable health care, homelessness, or job opportunities, the War, poverty and starvation are larger than any of us. We think the problems are so big we are afraid to reach out in love to a world that is crying. 

We should live each day as if it is the most important day of our lives because each day is a precious gift.
As people of faith, we are called to confront these fears and realities and bear witness to the God who will not let such suffering have the last word.  We are the ones who bring God’s love to people who are hurt, whose lives are torn apart by domestic violence, job loss, homelessness, or illness. We are the ones who reach out when hurricanes strike, earthquakes tremble, and tsunamis swallow homes and villages.

These signs of disaster are not about predicting the end, rather they show us where God wants us to be and where God IS.  For inasmuch as God is in our chapels, churches, and the golden sunrise of the dawn, God is also among the poor, the lost, the weak, the lonely, the grieving. “Do not be alarmed,” Jesus tells us. Remain calm. Do not fill your time with anxiety and fear.

Still, how do you spend time?  How will you live this day?

We should live each day as if it is the most important day of our lives because each day is a precious gift. Each new dawn is an opportunity to show love, not fear, to not be anxious about tomorrow, to reach out in faith and love to others and not hold back.

The Rev. Daniel L. Leatherman