Have You Heard the News?

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Have you heard the news?  The world is coming to an end!  That’s right, with all the storms, fires, talk of nuclear holocaust and the UM Church is going to split; the world is coming to an end…any day now…so get ready!

I wonder what would have been in the news during the days of the Crusades.  They began in 1095 and ended around 1291.  People killing people…all in the name of Christ…I wonder did anybody post on Facebook that the end of the world was coming soon (maybe not on Facebook but certainly in each other’s face).  I wonder if “Jesus is coming soon” was ever spoken.   Was the word ‘rapture’ ever mentioned?  I bet so.

Do you think during the Civil War there was ever a thought about the apocalypse?  It is recorded that more people were killed as our very own nation squabbled over slavery than in all the rest of our wars combined.  If that is true then that boggles the mind.  Historians say that religious people sat on their barn rooftops looking into the sky waiting for Jesus to return any moment.  Certainly the phrase “There are things worse than death” must have been spoken among family and friends during the dark days of the civil war.  Did people think the world was coming to an end in the 1860”s?  I bet so.

World War I and World War II certainly bred forth the discussion about the world coming to an end.  From Pearl Harbor to the Paris Peace Conference the 1940’s were a nest for believers to look to the sky for the return of Christ.  In 1942 R.E. Winsett wrote the Southern Gospel song “Jesus is Coming Soon” with the lyrics “Jesus is coming soon, morning, night or noon; many will meet their doom; trumpets will sound.  All of the dead shall rise; righteous meet in the skies; going where no one dies, heaven-ward bound.”  Did people think Jesus was coming soon and the world was going to end?  Not only did they think it, they prayed for it to be so.

So is the end of time coming soon?  Hurricane Harvey and Irma and who knows how many more along with the wild fires and the Korean threat…it may seem so.  But it has ‘seemed so’ before.  I choose to be hopeful not dreadful.  I choose to believe God isn’t finished with this old world and its cantankerous people yet.  I choose to lean in the direction of ‘there is still so much life to live’.  I choose to believe the best of God, of people and of the church.  I choose to say “hog wash” to all the doomsayers out there.  If Jesus wants to return and end the world…then that is God’s prerogative.  It is not mine to control.  Mine to control is my life and I lean in the direction of a God who loves and who is with us in all things good and things not so good.

Have you heard the good news?  Jesus is already here in you and me…and that can change the world rather than end it.

Always Thinking…


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