The End is the Beginning

Ahh, the Smashing Pumpkins, what a band. Who’d have guessed that that title would stand the test of time and become the title of this post…

So, one more reflection from my sermon today and my thoughts on Matthew 9-10.

One of the other things I stressed was the urgency of the harvest – I picked up this little pointer from Tony Robowtham at Spur in Brisbane last week – but that I should have known given the family I married into – the language of the harvest is loaded with a sense of urgency.

It strikes me that your approach to evangelism is greatly influenced by your eschatology – how and when you think the world will end will profoundly effect how you live and how urgently you approach the task.

Given that I’m of the inclination that the world could end whenever God calls stumps – I’m inclined to priorities evangelism over things like caring for the planet. I can see how that’s a much greater concern if you’re a long term thinker. Probably not as profound as it seems in my head, but worth jotting down for when the idea resurfaces in my head in the future and I search for eschatology on my blog.


Joanna says:

Interestingly, Martin Luther – who certainly agreed with you that preaching the gospel was an urgent task in the light of the return of Jesus – when asked what he would do today if he knew the world was ending tomorrow, answered ‘I would plant a tree.’ Was he a man with a poor eschatology, or just a strong theology of creation? Or both, do you think?

Nathan says:

Was he a man with poor eschatology? Probably not… he seemed pretty theologically robust. Perhaps he just liked gardening.

It is an interesting question – I’ll have to think about it further before I give it a serious response – but nice to have a new commenter… welcome.

Nathan says:

The first article I read about that quote – made this comment:

We are reminded of that other delicious “quotation” that Luther never said: “If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today.” … In his thorough investigation of the matter, Martin Schloemann wonders nevertheless whether the quotation is “Luther gemäß”—whether it is appropriate to Luther, whether he might have said it. Not, says Schloemann, if it assumes a life committed only to the present and not marked by a hope and longing for—indeed, an immediate expectation of—the last day, which Luther never relinquished. The quote sounds like Luther, according to Schloemann, only if it refers to a “creaturely service of neighbor and world” within a fully Christ-centered eschatological perspective.