Ken Samuel: In the Last Days

Isaiah 2:2, 4

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.... And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."

Reflection by Kenneth L. Samuel

Just about everyone has heard or read some dire prophesy concerning the cataclysmic upheavals and super seismic apocalypses of the last days.  Many of us have come to associate "the last days" with an awesome anticipation of cosmic disaster and ultimate doom.  This notion is often linked to a righteous resistance to modernity (contemporary reality) and a pious longing to return to the good old days-the days before human society had drifted to the precipice of moral corruption and imminent annihilation.

But not all prophesies about the "End Time" are full of dread.  Isaiah gives us a vision of the last days that actually gives us reason to rejoice about the changing times.  In the last days, according to the prophet, there shall be an elevation of worship at Zion, the city of God.  And that worship shall be open and accessible to people from every nation.  And as a result of the instruction and inspiration that people of the world receive from that holy place, war will become obsolete, as weapons of mass destruction are transformed into instruments of mass cultivation.

Our latter days can indeed become our better days.  The signs are all around us.  Never before have we witnessed the high level of international resolve to stop the sex trade and trafficking of children across borders that we have witnessed in the last five years.  And recently, from one side of the Atlantic to the other, there appears to be a growing impetus to elect persons to public office who are not so blinded by partisan ideology that they cannot compromise for the common good.  And with the recent scrutiny of the meltdown of the global economy, corporate giants will likely never again be allowed to gamble for private wealth without restraint, while leaving taxpayers with the tab.  And in the past forty years, when have we ever seen a sitting U.S. President risk so much political capital in defense of the rights of such a marginalized group as LGBT persons?

It's almost enough to make us actually believe that no matter how good we think things were, the best in this life is still yet to come . . .


Dear God, Help us to never define our destiny by our history. Prepare us for the future with greater hope, greater resolve and greater expectation.  Amen.

Taken with permission from UCC StillSpeaking Devotional.