The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'
But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction.
He's right, of course, in a way. In every age we wonder. Will there be a tomorrow? Are we on the eve of destruction?
My faith takes these concerns and holds them with hot pads, and gently. Because it's true. There will be another flood, another war, another economic meltdown. There will be violence, shootings, injustice, and pain. There will be destruction, if not tomorrow, then another day.
BUT, and this is a great big BUT, I am holding out in confidence for us to prove the conventional, ironical wisdom of the song wrong. I'm holding out for hope.
Today is not the eve of destruction. It's the eve of something better, at least for the community of faithful people who call ourselves church. Halloween, All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day, is a good time to give thanks for the saints who have stood against the violence, injustice, and pain of the world. It's time to remember the ones who said no to war, yes to peace, and amen to justice.
It's the eve of the day when we can imagine a brighter future. In Revelation 21.6, God doesn't "make all new things" but "makes all things new." There's a difference.
To "make all new things" would be to give up on the world, to give up on us. To "make all things new" is to take all that is corrupt and violent and wrong in us and clean us up and make us better. As individuals, certainly, but that's only a minor part of the message. God makes all things new in our community, nation, and world. This is the big picture.
Evil? Yes, it's real. And it's far scarier than any Halloween mask.
But never forget that we're on the eve of God making all things new. Call it the Eve of Reconstruction.