“Everything in Christianity is some kind of anticipation of something that is to be at the end of the world.”
— John Wesley (1703 – 1791)
Reality. What does that term mean to you? For the purposes of this little piece I want us to focus, initially, on reality being the physical life we live in: the world, the universe, everything we can touch or see.
Reality is a marvellous thing, transcending mere concept. It breaks through the nebulous and convinces us it must be believed in. Our senses testify to what we cannot deny!
And, yet, despite the incontrovertible nature of reality, we know there’s more. Our hearts tell us, for God set it there. That there is more than reality, however, is a reality we must believe by faith, for we cannot perceive it with human senses. When belief surpasses doubt and we bring God into matters of ‘reality’ then we really do start to live what Wesley said above.
Our faith can be envisaged as our desire to meet with the cosmic God, because we see that reality is not all there is.
Indeed, the more we believe, the more God breaks through past the distractions of this world, impressing His loving faithful Self on us through His Spirit.
God may be thought of as the cosmic order of things. And that reality at the end of the world — whether by death, rapture or some other meeting with God — speaks ever more urgently into our reality.
Death compels us to think of what’s coming, and faith reconciles difficult matters for us. The more we follow Jesus, the more the Father moves toward us by His Spirit. And our lives are enlivened and enriched as a result. This is the abundant life.
God reaches down and through into our lives. Eternity beckons. The end of the world. Now, next Thursday or five million years away matters little. The point is it’s inevitable. God wins. And in God winning, every believer, too, wins.
And still there is great sadness, for the reality we’ve been blessed to enjoy is coming to its end. Or perhaps it’s an all-surpassing joy, finally peace.
A bittersweet prospect. Who can comprehend it? Fortunately, comprehension is not the point. Which is: living now and hoping for then.