Library News – January

My granddaughter wrote, as her final year dissertation at university, an essay on “The Apocalypse in Video Games”. The Disaster At The End Of Time…
“The Day of the Lord” the prophets called it, and strangely they seemed to welcome it. Isaiah positively relishes the destruction he describes. The early Church looked forward to it. The Book of Revelation and all that…

But isn’t the apocalypse a huge disaster? Think of all those end-of-the-world disaster films. Why would anyone welcome it? Is there a difference between the way Christians see the apocalypse and how non-believers see it?

Well yes, there is. As you read about it in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New, you see that destruction and disaster is a way of transforming the world. For a Christian, when you go through the apocalypse, you come out into something new and re-created. You go forward. But for non-believers the apocalypse is indeed just huge destruction. When you’ve survived it, you try to re-create what it was all like before. You go backwards.

It seems that in God’s way of doing things, new beginnings come from what looks at first like disaster. It’s a pattern you begin to recognise. The apocalypse and its power of renewal and rebirth is echoed in our lives. Not world-shaking, but down to our own scale. Bite-sized, personalised apocalypses in our lives do just the same as the huge, world-engulfing, world-transforming apocalypse the prophets so looked forward to. We should welcome them.

Think of it another way. Look at John 15:1&2. God as a gardener, pruning a fruit tree hard back to make it more fruitful. We don’t, sadly, have a book in the Library about the apocalypse, but we do have a book about God as a gardener. Selwyn Hughes’ “The Divine Gardener” is a very gentle, very soft small book. An easy, almost a sentimental read. But the message is hard and clear.

Rosemary Smith

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