Saturday 27 November 2010

Bible Book:

"But the holy ones of the Most High shall the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever - forever and ever." (v. 18)

Daniel 7:15-27 Saturday 27 November 2010


What do you think of the idea of 'the end times' or 'the secondcoming of Christ'? Many individuals both inside and outside of theChristian Church view this idea as one held mainly by eccentrics(and that's the polite way of putting it!).

However, there are two books in the Christian Bible that areapocalyptic - that deal with the end times - Daniel and Revelation.Besides focusing on the end times, apocalyptic literature has twoother distinguishing features: disclosure of the supernatural world(usually by angels) and the judgement of individuals.

Although the images in apocalyptic texts are eccentric, they speakof a core idea in both Jewish and Christian tradition: that humanhistory has a goal and purpose. Christianity is not a religion thatbelieves in a neverending wheel of life going round and round.Rather it looks forward to some kind of perfection of creation inthe future, sometimes called the new creation and sometimes calledthe kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven.

Today's reading from the book of Daniel continues an ongoing lamentabout the attempt of the Persian king Antiochus Epiphanes todestroy the Jewish way of life. Epiphanes would ultimatelydesecrate the Temple, thus inciting the Maccabean revolt in thesecond century BC.

But readers are also assured in verse 18 that God will have thefinal word "forever - forever and ever", a stylistic code whichindicates the final and enduring state of God's kingdom. This iswhat God has promised that history is moving toward.

Traditionally the Christian Church has named Jesus as the King ofKings; his reign of justice and righteousness is held forth as themodel for all governments in every place and time. The kingdom overwhich Jesus reigns is to be the model for all human life for alltime; it is the end toward which all human history looks.

To Ponder

What do you think of the idea of 'the end times'or 'the second coming of Christ'?

Christianity sees human history as having a finalgoal in contrast to a view of human history as an ongoing cycle ofbirth, death and new life. Which of these patterns has the mostmeaning for you and why?

What, if anything, does it mean for yourfaith-life that Jesus is the King of Kings?

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