We are in an apocalyptic moment. By definition such moments are hard to recognize. An apocalyptic moment is to our world as Baptism is to an individual: “You have been baptized into the death of Christ, that you might be raised with him.” In Baptism I am asked to recognize those things in my life that are in the realm of death, that hold me back from receiving the life God is always waiting to give me, if I make room for it by clearing the dead away.
In an apocalyptic moment the world is tested to manifest the Body of Christ, the Christ of the world and not only of my family, tribe, or nation. One of the marks of a living Christ in the world is how we treat our enemies. Last Friday the largest congregation in history heard a reading from the New Testament. Three billion people listened as James Middleton read with careful enunciation and emphasis a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. In part he read, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.”
Osama bin Laden qualified himself as our enemy, and indeed as a world enemy. I believe our President is right when he say that bin Laden received justice. Now then comes our moment, when the many of us, myself included, who say “Lord, Lord” are judged not by our words, but by our deeds (the reference is the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, a chapter that begins with “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”)
My prayer is the prayer that ends the Book of the Apocalypse, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Be manifest in our world, our whole world, our world whole.