This Too…

I’ve been listening to Derek Webb again today.  His song “This Too Shall be Made Right” off of The Ringing Bell did what it always does to me; it took hold of me, shook me, beat me, and embraced me all at once.  Here are the lines that cut the deepest, for me at least:

There’s a time for peace
There is a time for war
There’s a time to forgive
and a time to settle the score
A time for babies to loose their lives
A time for hunger and genocide
and this too shall be made right.

Oh I don’t know the suffering of people outside my front door
And I join the oppressors of those I choose to ignore
I’m trading comfort for human life
And that’s not just murder it’s suicide
and this too shall be made right.

The world in which we live is broken.  I am a part of that brokenness.  I am a collaborator.  I don’t want to be, and I try not to be, but I am.  Even that wasn’t really true.  I try to try not to be.  I want to try to try not to be.  You get what I mean.  That’s where this song cuts.  But it heals as well.  It heals with an honest belief in the possibility, the hope, that the God who made the universe still cares for it, and that he has determined that his creation shall be made whole.

This is the tension of true apocalypse.  I’m not talking about Left Behind garbage, but about the late prophetic and early apocalyptic literature of the Bible.  Joel, Obadiah, Micah, Daniel, and Revelation (among many others).  This is the message of the writers of the apocalypses and the so-called proto-apocalyptic literature.  God will intervene.  Not just will, but must.  The world is irrevocably and intrinsically broken, and though we try, and we try to try, and we want to try to try to fix it, to reconcile it, to be reconciled to God himself, we are unable.  So he does it.

An honest appreciation for this biblical literature, and an honest attempt to hold it in tension with the rest of the canon, leads to the kind of paradoxical but true sentiment of Webb’s lyrics.  The world is filled with horror.  We must be conscious of it, we must act against it, but we must also understand that it is God who will, in the end, bring it to an end.

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12 Hours Ago…

I’m just getting ready to pack it in for the day and as is often the case I popped open my browser to check on my blogroll.  I looked down the list at posts I had read earlier, around dinner time, and then I saw the most recent post over on 4712.  It’s a wonderful little question that I found in one of the comment threads and I encourage anybody who is interested to wander over there and check it out.  What surprised me when I was looking at my blogroll just now is that I posted that question 12 hours ago.  Twelve hours ago I was taking a 15 minute break from working on my major linguistics paper (pragmatic fronting of non-Predicate constituents in Obadiah…yeah, I know how to party).  I just now finished working on it for the night.  Twelve hours ago.  This is just silly.  Didn’t quite finish either.  I still have to write the conclusion.  In theory that should be easy, so I’m gonna leave it till tomorrow when I go back to the library and work for another 16 hours.  Two more days, two more days, two more days….

Goodnight.