Monday, August 27, 2012

The Last Chapter

“Let your moderation be known to all men; the Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)

I have a friend who reads the last chapter first when she starts a new thriller.  “Takes the anxiety out of reading,” she claims. So with us: If we know the end of the story, we can be centers of peace in the midst of utter chaos, calm in the face of disaster. 

Paul calls that attitude, “moderation”—a term that’s difficult to translate into English, but one that implies “peace under pressure.” It refers to the calm and deliberate strength with which we meet the disquieting circumstances of our days. Kingdoms may fall, friends and spouses may falter, churches may fold, the “wrong” party may win the next election, oceans may rise and mountains may crumble, but we can be at peace.

And how do we maintain such composure? By remembering that, “the Lord is at hand,” standing just outside the door. At any moment (perhaps today) our Lord will burst through the door and turn everything that's wrong right side up. Then this world and all its troubles will become the kingdom of our Lord, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” 

Jesus said it could happen very soon! Today could be the day! It’s the very last thing he said, in the very last chapter of his book (Revelation 22:20).  

There’s an old saying: “If you can keep your head when others are losing theirs, you don’t understand the situation.” There’s another saying that’s equally true: “If you can keep your head when others are losing theirs, you do understand the situation.” You’ve read the last chapter in the book!


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