It feels like a funeral.
If there was one event that this current pandemic feels like, I would say that it feels most like a funeral.
Whenever I attend a funeral, I am first mourned by the death of the person and the impact of their death on the lives of those around them.
But a second thing always happens: As I sit viewing the casket, I am forced to imagine myself in that cold box as well. Not from the outside anymore, but from the inside. I am forced to think upon my life from the perspective of death.
Seeing death is the great alarm against the permanence and immortality of our lives. It forces us to analyze our life and to see whether its current trajectory aligns with a life lived well in God’s eyes.
In this exact way I feel this pandemic is alarming us.
Much is to be said first about mourning the loss of thousands of lives globally. The world will truly never ever be the same. But one cannot observe the catastrophe of this scale and wonder if the end is upon us and whether Jesus is coming soon.
I cannot say for certain that these are the beginning of the birth pangs of his return, but they certainly feel like what it should feel like. Wars, rumors of wars, the hatred for each other, the “sorcery” of technology… as much as I want to close my eyes and ears wishing things would return back to normal, this is what it’s going to feel like when it is actually the end. Except a thousand times worse.
Akin to what a funeral can do, I am feeling God speaking to me to consider the alarm of this time a gift.
There are countless parables said Jesus concerning those who are simply not prepared for his coming. They cannot (and do not want to) observe the patterns in the sky and see that a great storm is coming. A storm that will sift the wheat from the the chaff and propel people into the eternal destinies–for heaven or for hell, for light or for darkness.
Woe to the one who sits in a funeral and does not have their life shaken.
Woe to the one who leaves such a place and instead fortifies their false sense of invincibility.
Yet blessed is the one who stops to see a cloud in the sky. Blessed is the one who from such a cloud remembers a great storm is coming soon. Blessed is the one who remembers that this storm that will make claims on their lives and who in turn aligns their life correctly.
While the world is longing to return back to the sense of normalcy–to merry and to revel again, blessed is the one who instead sees this as a call to repentance and to prepare for his coming.
Soon probably the world will return to “normal”, to again return to live in the state of invincibility and progress again. It will soon cheer and celebrate.
But blessed are those who remember the darkness of this time and who see that Jesus is soon coming. Ye–he is standing at the very door. Soon will he come and catch a world unaware.