Saturday, 5 April 2014

Seeking a gospel for the end of the world:

I have just finished watching “finding a friend for the end of the world”; a film where a lonely man finds, by accident, his true love. It also asks what would you do if the end of the world was coming. My answer is easy: I would be singing hymns and giving thanks in Caversham Heights Methodist church. I would not be here seeking to appease God in order that I may be spared but awaiting for him.
Many of you probably don’t even remember the 1950’s remake of world of wars, I doubt fewer felt the call of God when watching it. The film is set during the Martian invasion of earth; it features early on a minister who walks stoically to his death and a woman who runs to a church.

Both made an impact on me; the first was the brave minister who quite literally walked into the valley of death armed with nothing more than Holy Scripture and the amour of faith. To a pacifist, often beaten for this faith, it spoke to me of the victory of faith over all the violence and all the horrors of this world. Here was a true hero, not like the army with its tanks and planes; he had no protection but the guarantee of God.

The women story made an even greater impact; she had once been lost and in her fear run into a church, where her parents had found her. Her faith was less clear then that of the minister but the call of God was just as clear. So when much later the mob had separated her and her earthly protector she was once more in the church. Not for physical protections for the stone and brick offered none against the Martians war machines but for the feeling of safety and love only the father of fathers can offer.

Now the cynic watching this film would say both the minister dies and many who seek the refuge of other churches. Indeed just before the Martians are struck low they destroy a church very near by the women so where is God then? If it where only so simple. God was in the community and the call to be together, he is and was there holding each hand of all who sought him.

I am reminded of a line from another film the inn of the seventh happiness, the missionary is asked if she not frightened and she answers that God will protect her soul not her body. You see if we seek God only in tangible grand miracles we fail to see his glory. It was clear to me then and it still is now that God is there when the coward is made brave by the spirit, or the scared women made safe by his mercy. He was found in the rubble and suffering, he is there for all who turn to him.

So though I am knocked around and chipped and unworthy of him, if the end where to come God has made room in his house for me, he has made a cleft in his heart for me and though my flesh may perish I am assured that my soul is safe within. He has promised when the end of days or just my days come he will be with me and so in his house I pray to be 

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