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A New Way

Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.” Mark 13. 1 - 8

On the wall in one of the displays at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, there is a saying that goes something like this: "Making a way out of no way" in reference to the mighty struggle of the African Americans in their fight for civil rights.

In the lectionary readings appointed for Sunday, there is much talk about the new ways, the non existent ways that lie ahead of the people of God. A word that is used to describe this future is apocalyptic. Apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις, apokálypsis) is a Greek word meaning "revelation", "an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling".

Our future as people of God is a new way; it will be what scriptures call "the New Jerusalem," where all believers will live in eternity with God. In the book of Revelation, John of Patmos suggests this kingdom will be gigantic and magnificent, and there will be no sin and the temple will be God and the Lamb...truly an "unfolding of things not previously known."

We do not know when this unveiling will begin, when the birth pangs and the ruptures will happen. But I do like the prophecy that what lies ahead will be a "way made out of no way," grander and brighter that anything we can imagine, anything "previously known."

What does that world look like to you? Imagine that New Way.

John of Patmos watches the descent of New Jerusalem from God in a 14th-century tapestry


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