God bless the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln for setting Thanksgiving AFTER general elections so that families can gather and be thankful for each other with some semblance of peace. I doubt the members of my immediate family would have stayed more than 10 minutes at the same table or under the same roof had there still been opportunity to alter the vote through information, debate or influence.
As it was, we shared a great meal with conversation dominated by stories of personal success or dreams. Afterwards, we made music together with piano, organ, guitar and vibraharp. Mostly, the men listened and allowed my mother, my sister-in-law and me to dawdle about at the instruments and fumble with Christmas Carols.
For those of you unfamiliar with my family of origin, let me quickly clue you that my only sibling (a brother) is a cerebral, Phd toting geneticist who has done extensive stem cell research. My parents are conservative, fundamental, salt of the earth representatives of the greatest generation; champions of the idea that the final answer may be obtained through keeping a simple list of ten or 12 things. These things were clearly interpreted in, say, 1940 or 50 and should always remain how they used to be. I forever and always have been and will be caught in the middle; moderate, compromising; trying to please everyone and thereby pleasing no one; alternately shamed and scorned by both sides.
Friday evening found my brother, my sister-in-law and me at the movies – Lincoln, to be specific. During the after movie hot chocolate and discussion, my brother mentioned that there were two more movies he wants to see this season: Chasing Ice (this is not a hockey movie, in case you were misled by the title) and Bidder #70 (I myself want to see Les Miserables but the topic at hand seemed to be global warming and the Bush administration not the effects of the French Revolution).
My brother is convinced that global warming is progressing at such a rate as to soon bring about a cataclysmic event. The astonishing thing is that everyone agrees on apocalypse. The liberals believe it is coming as a result of global warming. The biblical conservatives believe it through prophecy. Writers proclaim it through speculative fiction. The younger generation lives breathes and thinks post apocalyptic. Over the decades, the Huxleys, Jenkinses and Collinses among us have written tomes on the theme.
Is that not a miracle? We all agree on something: Apocalypse is coming. Problem is, we disagree on how to approach it.
I voiced this thought to my daughter on the phone – she the Y generation Christian Anthropologist, rock and rage drummer through the week, sometimes youth and worship speaker and musician on the Sabbath.
Me: Isn’t it strange how the liberals and Christians agree that apocalypse is coming? The liberals are trying to stop it by curtailing global warming. The Christians are making every effort to stave it off by repentance and moral house cleaning.
She: meanwhile the Jews are scurrying around rebuilding the temple…
Is there any question apocalypse is coming? Is the question merely; how? or when? Or is the issue “woe to him or her by whom it comes?”