In light of the allegations of sexual misconduct by famed Today show host Matt Lauer and long renowned voice actor, Garrison Keller, apocalypse language has entered into more and more news reports. People are beginning to understand the vast and pervasive nature of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. This does not occur in only one profession, in one race or in one socioeconomic status. It is everywhere in our culture. To be sure more and more reports will surface as victims begin to understand that their voices are being heard finally.
This week I preached in chapel from the little apocalypse in Mark 13:
24 “But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. 28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
I have to be honest, in my teaching and preaching, I have shied away from apocalypse literature because of all the sermons, Sunday School lessons, churchwide movies that emphasized the Rapture and the end of times. Recently, though as I’ve studied the prophets and the gospels and Jesus’ own words, I have realized that apocalypse literature is a very important part of being God’s people. Indeed there will come a time when we are all held accountable for our actions and the way we treat each other here on earth. That day is coming for many who have abused their power and used their privilege to sexually harass, sexually assault, and sexually abuse co-workers. That day is coming for those who have used their power and privilege to oppress, shame and guilt others.
But before we rejoice and revel in the fate of those who have met their day of reckoning, let us remember this day will come for all of us. We will be held responsible for the poverty and homelessness that we walk past and the times we ignore our neighbors in need.
Stay awake to the Divine moving in this world urging and inviting us to join something bigger and more powerful than the powers and forces here on earth.