If the general tone of the news is any indication, humanity could be en route for some major hurt in the coming months. We have a Eurozone which is looking like it will not survive the winter (Financial Times), and the west – through america – has pushed their relationship with nuclear armed Pakistan further then it has ever been in my lifetime. Yet I have noticed a sense of apathy and disengagement from those I find myself in community with (read – christians).
This has been a struggle for me since I understand the apathy. If our assumption is that Jesus is on the verge of returning and before this occurs there will be wars, death, collapse of society it would appear that everything is going according to plan. Why would we attempt to intervene if that very intervention might be in opposition to God’s plan, or even delay the second coming.
Yet a glance at history tells us this is not the case. The authors of the new testament assumed that with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD that Jesus would be coming back shortly, and yet we are still here nearly 2000 years later. This same understanding could be applied to the demise of the African church (700-1000 AD), the asian church (roughly the same time period), fall of the Roman Empire, the pillaging of Genghis Khan after his conversion to Islam, the sweeping of Black Death and Spanish Flu, and many more localized incidents.
Instead I say we need to engage what is occurring in the lives of our fellow citizens (of country and terra) and look past the darkness to the coming dawn. The people of Israel went through many dark periods before Jesus arrived on the scene. Would it be outlandish for us to believe the same will happen again? While unpredictable, God does love patterns.