We have entered a new and uncertain era in the history of our nation and in the history of the world. This is not being dramatic and it does feel very apocalyptic. Could this be the judgement of God on creatures who have abused his creation and abused each other? Not only do we find ourselves fighting against an environmental catastrophe, but we are also fighting an unseen enemy, against which we have limited weapons of attack. In our current situation it could be very easy to slip into apocalyptic mode, pronouncing judgement and looking forward to the rapture, or plunging into depression and fear. However, as people who have a gospel of hope to proclaim, this would not be helpful for the fellowship of the church or the wider community of Gravesham, of which each of us is a part. We need to keep in mind that God has the right to judge, as creator and Lord over all, but he has also come in forgiving power through Jesus Christ, bringing the opportunity of reconciliation and renewal. If we feel ourselves slipping into an apocalyptic mindset, we need to balance that against the fact that since early Christian times, crises have arisen and people have wondered if the end has come and Jesus is returning. We also need to remember the words of Jesus that there would be troubled times, but the end was not yet. I believe God will come one day in judgement and it may be today. That is his prerogative. As followers of Jesus Christ living in these times we are to be bringers of hope through the gospel of reconciliation to those who will listen and respond.

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