“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Luke 21:33).
Rev 20:1-4, 11—21:2; Luke 21:29-33
One wonders if the author of Revelations had any idea how much speculation his phantasmagorical text would incite for coming generations: True believers standing on a hilltop waiting to be picked by a silver ship; a Secretary of the Interior who said there was little use in protecting the giant redwoods because the world was going to end soon. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the discussion about whether to include Revelations in the Canon. It serves to remind us that the entire Bible is truth wrapped in poetry, allegory, dreams and visions, a feast for contemplation and prayer.
Jesus says that everything will pass away except his words. This reminds us of John’s majestic prologue introducing Jesus as the eternal Word, the Logos, the divine exemplar for all Creation. The Word will never end because it was in the beginning, the template for everything that is, past, present and future. Nothing exists that did not flow from and through the Word, the Storyteller who conjures the story that we are part of.
Jesus offers a simple parable for what is to come. When you see the buds on the trees you know summer is near. Read the signs of the times to know that the Kingdom of God is at hand, as real but as invisible as the nose on your face. Every generation will pass away, all human agendas are ephemeral compared to God’s plans. Only the Word prevails.
How blessed are we to hear the Word each day in the great cycles of the Lectionary and the seasons of the Liturgy. The Word is alive as it engages the world, probing its events and exposing its deliberations. It schools us to see God in all things, on the surface and below the surface, in the moment and in its consequences, the present that becomes the future, teaching us to see the signs of the times and act accordingly.
When every other foundation fails, the Word of God will not fail. To make it the cornerstone of our thoughts, values and goals is to live in the Kingdom of God in this changing world. To read the Scriptures and let them to read us is to enter a life-giving dialogue that transforms us. Of all the Websites, newsfeeds and sources that inform our worldview and guide our opinions, God’s Word is the organizing principle that blesses each day and delivers a message that comes true in our hearing.