One of my friends seems to be on the "dire warnings of doom" e-mail list. Lately, she has been expressing preoccupations with the upcoming Presidential election. Everything from "Obama is Satan" to "McCain won't last long in the White House: what kind of President would Palin be?" to "Armageddon is coming, really!" Not to dismiss the possibility of Armageddon (it seems to already be in full swing in some parts of the globe), the general thrust of my friend's response to whatever it is that has affected her is worry and fear that the end is near.
So am I missing some critical information?
Jesus himself had some pretty scary language about how bad things would be right before the end. Did he mean for us to live in terror or anxiety? Not if St. Paul is to be believed--and he thought the end was right around the corner in his day! Instead, Paul told us to "long" for the coming of the Lord and to "hasten" it with prayer and upright living. It would be silly not to think that there would be some risk, even spiritual risk, if a time of universal crisis should break over us. (If Christians were being led off to torture or death for professing their faith, I picture myself--apart from the special grace of the Holy Spirit, hesitantly raising my hand about waist-high to admit my belief while hoping the gesture wouldn't be noticed.) But Jesus told us not to imagine these things: "sufficient to the day are the troubles thereof." St. Paul expected us to "love the Lord's coming." "The Lord is near! Rejoice!"
But I'm still wondering: am I missing something?