My dad taught me to love old school science fiction at a young age. I love Kurt Vonnegut. I read Stranger in a Strange Land in middle school (yes its a million pages, I know!). I just recently finished all three of the books in the Hunger Games Trilogy in 36 hours (and yes, I did work and eat in that time period--although I did not in fact do much sleeping!) The Book of Eli and I Am Legend are amazing recent movies about the End of Times. I love pictures of fantasy and seeing how artists and writers talk about the Apocalypse.
However, when they do the same things in Biblical Literature--Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation--it makes me a little more nervous. I've often wondered why. Maybe because it seems more and less real all at once. Maybe because I've struggled to figure out how these stories affect my faith. Maybe because as much as I like to imagine the Apocalypse, I know that I don't want to be around Earth when the end of times come.
So, reading Daniel always comes to me with trepidation. Both Mary and Lindsay point out that there might be some reference to Jesus in verses 13 and 14, but that any comparison seems much more conjecture than say Isaiah 53. This is Daniel's picture of the end of times. With beasts and kings and fire. I took a lot of peace in verse 15 when Daniel himself talked about being uncomfortable with his visions. And everytime I read that verse, I am thankful to God that I am not burdened with the responsibility of sharing visions like Daniel.
What I think I came away from this week was a sense of wanting to make the world better. A sense of wanting to shine God's light in the darkest places. Its clear that we live in a broken world. Where disease and anger and hate often win over love and healing and peace. So, maybe the Day of the Lord is coming. Maybe we are "doomed". I don't know. What I do know is that I want to fight for God. Fight to shine light in the darkest places. Fight for Truth and beauty and God's love. I want to fight. For, I still believe in hope and love and resurrection. One of Jesus' final lessons to us is that its NEVER over until God says it is. That the dead can live and the blind can see and the leprous can be made clean! Maybe Daniel's visions will come to pass--but I'm going to keep fighting to bring love and God to this broken world. And I pray that you all will join me!