On New Year’s Eve our neighbors came over and we watched the movie 2012 about geological upheaval that destroyed most of the earth. 2012, the book, is a favorite of a friend of mine who is impressed by the science behind it and is convinced that global destruction described in the book will indeed occur in 2012. He says we must prepare. Admittedly, it is a little eerie that in the book the US president in 2012 is black, a fact that could hardly have been foreseen when the book was written.
It was odd to usher in a new year filled with potential and hope for all things good while being involved through spectatorship of such destruction of lives, and of the earth. Hope and evil make strange bedfellows. I could go along with the movie to the point of accepting the possibility that the world could come to an end as soon as 12-21-12, after all Jesus warned us to be ever-vigilant for His return during a celestial cataclysm.
Still filled with dread from the movie, the next morning I went straight to the Bible for solace. Instead of reading snippets or a chapter, as I often do, I turned to Mark and noticed how short it is. So I read aloud the Gospel of Mark, the first gospel written and a source for Matthew and Luke. This reading took only about two hours. It was a rich holy two hours. By reading aloud instead of to myself I was able to concentrate better. Three times when my mind wandered I reeled it back in by starting the chapter again. This punishment to my vocal cords helped keep me alert to what I was reading. Also, to read the book without stopping helped me to see the progression of it which surprised me many times. That doesn’t happen when I just read one chapter at a time. I want to read Mark aloud several more times to fully grasp all those fleeting thoughts that I had to pass over on New Year’s Day.
The soufflé my soul concocted on January 1st with the ingredients of the gospel of Mark folded into catastrophe of 2012 was nutritiously wise leading me to decide that the best way to begin this secular year is to repent because the Kingdom of God is surely at hand and this planet is probably doomed.
The Greek word for repent is metanoia. The easy translation is to change the mind and heart. People seem to love the concept of change, but change is not always good. We need to be more specific if we’re going to venture away from our mental comfort zones. Metanoia can be translated as ‘to go beyond (after) the intellect (nous)’ to the place of sweet surrender to God’s will…which reigns supreme in His Kingdom. Repent for the safe and secure Kingdom of God’s rule is here.
Over and over again in the Gospel of Mark, the reader is shown how different God’s ways are from man’s ways, His perspective from ours, and from most of the Pharisees and scribes. Let’s reach beyond ourselves to find and obey the One in whose Kingdom we seek to dwell...where there will be no earthquakes to fear.
Together let’s approach 2011 as if 2012 will actually be the last year of life on earth as we know it. Just in case it is.