In the recent retreat we asked: what might a new view of the end times look like? Ideas of Armageddon are everywhere from Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens – and other recent TV series – to games, novels and films. We asked: does it all have to end that way? What if we could see the future differently? So I invited people to bring things to go in our own Book of Revelation, and the following are some of the beautiful things that were returned.
The Last Book of the Bible
First came the drought. For months the sun beat down and there was no rain. The earth turned to dust and the crops withered in the ground. In poor countries people starved, or tried to move to somewhere where there was more food. In rich countries there was still food, and people had enough to eat.
After the drought was the rain. The dry soil was washed away. The rivers filled up and overflowed their banks. In poor countries people got dysentery and typhoid from the water. In rich countries some houses and towns were flooded, but the mess could be cleaned up and the insurance companies paid the cost.
After the rain was the wind. It blew fiercely, and there was no soil to hold the trees, so they blew down. In poor countries people lost everything they had. In rich countries some people were killed, and some property was damaged, and the government helped people who were homeless, and the insurance paid for the damage.
Then spoke the Spirit. She spoke first to the leaders of the rich countries, and the managers of the big corporations, and the shareholders in the corporations. And she said: “It is you who have done this. You have created this situation through your greed and desire for profit. Stop now your activities which heat up the atmosphere. You know very well what they are, but you pretend that they are not so harmful. You have plenty of money. Give it now to the poor to help them survive, and allow them to go back to living in harmony with the environment, as they once did.”
Then she spoke to the people in rich countries, and she said: “Your life has been comfortable, though it may not be for much longer. If you care about your children and grandchildren, you must change the way you live. There are many things you do now which you know are harmful to the planet. However painful it may seem, you must stop doing them, or at least do them less. And you must show compassion to those less fortunate than yourselves. You must seek ways to help them, by making their lives less difficult, and if necessary being prepared to receive them, because they have endured suffering which you cannot even imagine, though you see it on your television every night.”
And to everyone she said: “The planet on which you live was created and has developed over millions of years. Of all forms of life on earth, you are the most special, as you have awareness, understanding and free will. You know what the consequences of your actions are. If you cause the end of life on this planet, then you do so knowingly.”
And my sermon is here
MORE TO COME …..