Doomsday predictions don’t impress me. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. In a society that seems insistent to scare us unto blind allegiance, we start to lose our sense of what is true. The echos in our chambers deafen us to the whispers of grace. In our growing boldness of outrage, anger, and resentment we’ve grown timid in our love and self-control.
It’s easy to imagine a heaven in the afterlife. It’s easy to imagine a hell on earth. Was Jesus waxing poetic when he said “thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven?” I want to imagine what that looks like.
But who needs to ask for daily bread when we’ve grown fat from our newsfeeds? We turn on the twenty-four hour news to be told to think for ourselves. And in our desperate avoidance of being sheep we transform into bloodthirsty wolves. We become the very thing we are told to fear.
But love frees us from the slavery of conspiracy theories. Grace unshackles us from the demands of our gods, from our celebrity cultures, our societal spectacles. Mercy releases us from the fear of losing – of losing our reputation, our sense of control, our money, or even our lives.
But it’s in the losing that we create a better world. It is the meek that inherit the world, after all. This world, despite the many hells we’ve brought to it through our adherence to the “eat or be eaten, kill or be killed” propaganda, still belongs to those who delight themselves in the abundance of peace. It is more difficult to imagine that. Proclamations of pending apocalypses abound, but grace abounds much more.