Saturday, November 22, 2014

“The devil has not vanished simply because people refuse to believe he exists, no more than God has...”

“God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.”  ― Albert Einstein

Scripture Text: (RV 11:4-12)
I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,”
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.”
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.

The Book of Revelation certainly did not promise a world without evil.  As a matter of fact, today's reading makes it clear evil will continue to exist alongside the good in our world. For us, it means we who are dedicated to doing good will have to contend with evil all along the journey of life.  In the name of the Lord Jesus, we choose to expand goodness, displace and conquer evil by our love and goodness, and so help to build the kingdom in this world on the way to its fullness in the next. 

All of us share this mission of the Gospel in the world - to do battle against evil and so advance goodness all around us.  This battle need not be momentous enterprises.  Much more important are the regular, small, day by day choices we make for goodness, for expressing love and compassion, for living a life of caring for family, friends, neighbors and fellow parishioners.  We have been anointed for the continuing battle. 

Are we ready to choose goodness each and every day?

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