What does the future contain? That is my question for today. What does the future contain? Does the future contain gloom and doom and catastrophe? Or does it contain joy and happiness?
Back in the 1970s Hal Lindsey was a very famous author. Very famous. He wrote a book that sold 28 million copies and the book was called “The Late Great Planet Earth.” That book was all the rage and it was made into a movie that was narrated by Orson Welles.
The book was Hal Lindsey’s interpretation of the Book of Revelation. He saw connections between the current events of his day and the events referred to in the Book of Revelation. He saw nations stockpiling nuclear weapons. He said that the hostilities between Russia and the nations of Western Europe were so intense that soon we will have Armageddon: Armageddon is supposed to be the final battle between good and evil. Armageddon is the war that causes all human beings to die. The war to end all wars. Lindsay said that things are falling into place for the world to end very soon. And it will be a horrific and painful ending. You and I know that the world did not end in those days. But Lindsay’s book sure did scare a lot of people and it caused them to have a very gloomy picture of the future.
The prophet Malachi had a picture of the future that was more hopeful. Malachi was living in Jerusalem in the year 468 BC and life in the holy city was in chaos. The leaders were polarized and always fighting with each other, and family feuds were causing families to break apart. Some of the leaders of the Jewish people were saying, “The situation is bad now and it will be even worse in the future.”
But Malachi said, “I have to disagree with you. The future will be good because God will be in the future. God will be like the bright sunshine which brings healing to those who are hurting.” “What do you mean?” they asked him. Malachi said, “God will put order into the chaos. God will put things back into their proper balance. God will help families to live together in harmony and God will cause nations to seek the way of peace together.” So, Malachi was not afraid of the future. He was certain that God would be in the future and that God would bring healing to a hurting world.
We heard Jesus talking about the future in today’s gospel. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of the future because you will never be alone. Yes, there will be earthquakes and plagues and famines and wars and persecutions……but I will be with you, and you will never be alone. I will show you what to do and I will tell you what to say.
Now let’s move forward in time and look at the situation in our world today. We live in a time when so many people are worrying about the future. When we look at the future we worry about our health and the economy and the spread of nuclear weapons and the widespread moral decline and the increase of crime and violence. We need to take to heart what Jesus says in today’s Gospel.
Jesus says to us, “It is foolish to worry about the future. Jesus says, “I will be in your future. I will be with you, and I will see you through it all.”
Now I would like to close by going back to my original question: What does the future contain?
In today’s first reading, the prophet Malachi said that the future will be filled with God’s glory and God’s healing power. And in the gospel Jesus said that the future will be filled with his love and all the help that he will give us.
During our time of prayer today, let’s tell God that we will move into the future with hope and with confidence. Prayer means talking to God. And talking to God does not always have to be a series of petitions. Let’s tell the Lord that we will move into the future with hope.
Today let’s tell God about the decision that we have made. Let’s tell God that we will move into the future with confidence because we know that we will never be alone. We are filled with confidence because we know that Jesus will always be with us. He will always be in our future. We will never be alone. Jesus will always be with us. We will never be alone.