|Crucifixion, Anthony van Dyk, 1622.|
|Grieving parents of Sandy Hook massacre.|
The point is that the end of the world is a situation of our making, through our action and inaction. In that quintessentially apocalyptic book, the Revelation of John, the angel of the church in Sardis says, "‘I know your works; you have a name for being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is at the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. [ ... ] Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches" (Rev. 3:1-4, 6). The world that we know will end however we respond to the angel's exhortation, but it can be an ending that brings the finality of violence and death or one that inaugurates a future of peace and abundant life.