Vicar’s Reflection: The full catastrophe! Ordinary Sunday 33, 17th November 2019.
“The whole family is here: the full catastrophe!” Said someone at a recent family reunion. “Catastrophe comes from a Greek word meaning "overturn." It originally referred to the disastrous finish of a drama, usually a tragedy. This later came to mean any sudden disaster".
Today catastrophe can refer to very tragic events as well as minor ones.” (vocabulary.com) It’s a good word for describing today’s news from bushfires in Australia and California; the interruption of a murder trial; the impeachment hearings for a president; to climate change. We are seldom far from a sense of impending catastrophe. People felt like this even way back before the time of Jesus. Malachi was the last prophet in the Old Testament. He wrote about 420 years before Christ at a time when the restored community at Jerusalem was falling apart. There were corrupt leaders and priests, robbery and violence went unpunished, rebuilding of the Temple had stalled and people had turned away from God. It was a catastrophe. Jesus had the same insights into what was happening in his own time and predicted the ultimate destruction of the Temple. Jesus however, provided for the birth of a new Jerusalem and a new Temple not built with stones and timber but with living people. Humanity seems to live on the brink of catastrophe in all ages. Our sense of alarm must be moderated by our enduring hope and trust in the promises of Christ to make all things new. A good thought as we approach Advent. Alex Czerwonka