May 24, 2009
Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
- Mark 16: 15
Nihilism is a philosophy which holds that there is no meaning & purpose to existence; that life came about accidentally; that because there is no God, no Creator, there is no point to order in the world, to values or life-goals, to reason or spirituality. Some people embrace this philosophy consciously. Many others are nihilists without even knowing what the word means. They are nihilists by default; their lives are without meaning; their lives are a bore.
Theism, on the other hand, is the belief in God as the Creator of existence. The Theist believes that because there is a God, there is a point to order in the world, to values & life-goals, to reason & spirituality. This view of creation is what gives us our reason for living. This sense of purpose, this reaching out toward a goal, is built into our humanity.
In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul tells us that Jesus’ goal, as “Head of the Church, which is His Body,” is to “fill the universe in all its parts” (1: 22-3). This is the Christian world-view of salvation: to see the individual ingredients of creation in the perspective of wholeness; to see the bits & pieces in terms of what they are to become; to see a yet fragmented humanity in the light of its potential God-willed wholeness. It is the Ascension of our Lord that provides us with this vision. The Incarnation culminates in His ascent into heaven & thereby gives us our destination, if we don’t botch the opportunity.
In St. Paul’s words, “God has given us the wisdom to understand fully the mystery, the plan He was pleased to decree in Christ, to be carried out in the fullness of time: namely, to bring all things in the heavens & earth into one under Christ’s leadership” (Eph. 1: 9-10). What we are not given to know is the appointed time ordained by God – when the Kingdom’s ingredients will be sorted out & blended, when “all things in the heavens on earth” will be made “into one under Christ’s headship.”
Not only is everything on this earth not perfect, nothing in this world is perfect. But as a people who have caught a glimpse of the big picture, we neither self-righteously reject nor meekly accept these imperfections, because we have been given a foretaste of the eternal kingdom toward which we are moving. What we are called to do is to involve ourselves in the sorting out & blending, i.e, to effect change. Many people fear change, but we know that in the fullness of time things will no longer be as they are, but as they ought to be.
Do we believe that Jesus has certified His teachings by His death & resurrection? Do we say that He lives in us & we in Him? Then, we need to go into our fragmented world & help move it in the direction of the “fullness of time.” Let us advance the Lord’s work of fashioning the bits & pieces into a harmonious whole instead of bickering among ourselves. After all, we are meant to be part of His solution, not a part of His problem. AMEN!