Welcome to Apocalypse: A Faith Reflection
By: Rev. Jan Wiersma
Sisters and brothers, welcome to apocalypse.
If this word conjures up images of death, destruction and the end of the world as we know it, let me remind you that the original meaning is “an unveiling; a revealing of something hidden.”
Isn’t that what’s happening? The faults and fissures that have swallowed so many innocent lives have become visible. Many people have seen for the first time; and if some choose to keep their eyes shut, well, we can’t open them by force. But our eyes are opened, yours and mine.
I heard a wise spiritual teacher say, “Once God opens your eyes to an injustice, you ignore it at the risk of your own soul.” Not only is this a call to action, it’s a call to the apparent inaction of attending to your soul’s wisdom.
Our ISAIAH leaders and organizers, and each one of you on this call, have been working so very hard to turn this moment into a movement for good, and so we will continue.
At the same time, the journey outward into public action is only effective when it is fed by the journey inward, to God, to our best and truest selves, to the place where Spirit teaches without textbooks and nurtures in silence.
Today, we are given permission to be more than voices crying in a wilderness of fear. We are invited to be what we preach.
In a few minutes, we’ll be inspired again to go out and do something; there will be time and scope for action.
For this moment, I invite you to pause in your planning and let Spirit renew you. Abandon the asking of unanswerable questions about the future
and take comfort that there is meaning in this moment;
Give up blaming those responsible for injustice;
bend your own life along the arc that tends toward justice.
Cease beating on the walls of the halls of power, and enter through the door; take your place. Power is your birthright, too.
Let go of your fear of dying and rest in the love that held you before your birth And will carry you when life is done;
Stop saying prayers, and become a prayer.
So is this apocalypse? Amir Hussain, professor of world religions, reminds us that apocalypse includes what happens when one’s eyes are opened; that it is a gift to learn these things before we die. Apocalypse is not just an ending but a beginning. What we are experiencing is a birth.
What the world is birthing is so much bigger than we are.
We don’t have to induce labor; we are in the midst of it:
We just have to breathe with the contractions, lean into the pain, and let this new thing be born.
Please take just 30 seconds to breathe with me….. Amen. May it be so.
I am indebted to the following article for reminding me of the original meaning of “apocalypse” and for the insight from Amir Hussain:
“The Apocalypse as an Unveiling: What Religion Teaches Us about the End Times” By Elizabeth Dias