Yes, this is going up late. It is the day after black Friday here and we slept in then went and checked out things we will need in a year’s time and took note of the prices. Prior planning prevents poor performance, and getting things just because a sale is on is… stupid. So it is after noon on Saturday here, and the lectionary is going up late. So be it.
This world wants us moulded into its expectations. Not a smart idea.
I feel even more sorry for you if you decided to wake up stupidly early to go stand outside a block-store in the freezing cold, waiting to charge in to snap up deeply discounted TVs and computers and gaming consoles today. That’s right, today is the annualised bacchanalia of orgiastic shopping known as “Black Friday”. The fact that a day dedicated to excess and rampant consumerism is known by such a sinister term, should tell you everything that you need to know about its true purpose.
For those of you who aren’t interested in mindlessly spending on useless shit and pleasing Mammon in the process, though, it’s a good day to sit back and engage in a bit of introspection. (Or play with dogs, which is both more wholesome and more fun.)
As I pointed out in the last couple of posts, it’s very easy for us to get down on ourselves because of all of the insanity going on around us right now. I’m certainly not immune to that problem. I’ve gotten into some heated arguments with my own family about the ways that people have lost their minds in the face of a lethal and terrifying world-destroying disease that has a survival rate of 99% OR HIGHER if you’re under the age of 70. And don’t even get me started on trying to discuss the mandatory wearing of masks with people – family members have literally gotten up and walked away from me because they think I’m crazy for pointing out that mask mandates have been ineffective at stopping the spread of the Kung Flu.
When you try to point this out to people and back up your arguments with the (so far) ONE AND ONLY true randomised controlled trial on that precise subject, along with multiple studies about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of masks (both surgical and not) in preventing the spread of influenza, you will be treated like a crazy person with no rational expertise whatsoever.
If you have family members like this – even if they are parents or siblings or, God help you, children – then I’m sorry to tell you that you can’t do anything to help them.
That’s just the harsh truth. They are blind to the truth and panicked and crazed by fear.
Where those who are evil want us to be. Panicked and paralysed by fear. Doing what we are manipulated by others into. I have a simple cure: don’t watch or listen to mass media. They rely on advertising to make their money. You don’t need to see that. And you don’t need to be in the debt that they want us to have.
2 Woe to those who devise wickedness
and work evil on their beds!
When the morning dawns, they perform it,
because it is in the power of their hand.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them away;
they oppress a man and his house,
a man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus says the Lord:
behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
from which you cannot remove your necks,
and you shall not walk haughtily,
for it will be a time of disaster.
4 In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you
and moan bitterly,
and say, “We are utterly ruined;
he changes the portion of my people;
how he removes it from me!
To an apostate he allots our fields.”
5 Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot
in the assembly of the Lord.
6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach—
“one should not preach of such things;
disgrace will not overtake us.”
7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob?
Has the Lord grown impatient?
Are these his deeds?
Do not my words do good
to him who walks uprightly?
8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy;
you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly
with no thought of war.
9 The women of my people you drive out
from their delightful houses;
from their young children you take away
my splendor forever.
10 Arise and go,
for this is no place to rest,
because of uncleanness that destroys
with a grievous destruction.
11 If a man should go about and utter wind and lies,
saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,”
he would be the preacher for this people!
12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob;
I will gather the remnant of Israel;
I will set them together
like sheep in a fold,
like a flock in its pasture,
a noisy multitude of men.
13 He who opens the breach goes up before them;
they break through and pass the gate,
going out by it.
Their king passes on before them,
the Lord at their head.
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
I don’t really worry too much about revelations. Despite the fact it is in the lectionary and blogged. The entire end times industry is, in my view, a waste of time. There are too many people who say that they speak the word of God and predict all kinds of things in error. True prophets are generally troubled souls.
When Christ arises it will be obvious.
It may be that he calls us to account for standing in queues trying to get things that are out of date a year later, instead of being with our family and friends. For in the world to come, things will not endure. Faith, Hope and Love will.