By Gina Gaudet
Apocalypse. The word can strike fear in our minds. We tend to
see it as a devastating event bringing an end to all that we
know is real – the end of the world.
However, the word actually doesn’t translate as an end-time
event. The meaning, more accurately reflected, is to “draw back
the veil.” To open our eyes to see more clearly what life on
earth is all about. What it is is the end of Illusion, and the
clarity of true vision.
In fact, the last book of the Bible, sometimes named the
Apocalypse, is more accurately termed the “Book of Revelation”
or “the Revelation to John.” In other words, a great War, or a
great Pandemic, say, is “Apocalyptic” in as much as it serves to
reveal to us something about ourselves, and about our God.
So, let’s start with this idea; that the last 15 months could
have actually been an Apocalyptic Event. In retrospect, we will
likely refer to this time as “pre-pandemic” and “post-pandemic.”
We’ll recall stories of those who served on the front lines in
hospitals and health care, and those on the front lines of
anti-mask protests. Even Point Roberts has its own unique
pandemic story, which became very public in the past year as we
found ourselves on national television news: isolated; yet known
to the world.
What has made this apocalypse so revelatory is the elusive
nature of the disease itself. There are those who seem naturally
immune to the Covid virus, those who contract it without
symptoms, those who are mildly ill, and those who become
seriously, often deathly ill.
We are daily inundated with global statistics: number of viral
contracts, of hospitalizations, of recoveries, of deaths. Yet to
put millions of deaths in context of a planet of billions gives
a different perspective. This strange disease has divided us as
those who see an impending doom and those who see a great hoax.
And this is an apocalypse.
We draw back veils of illusion in the face of a very real, yet
somehow elusive possibility of death. We either accept
restrictions that greatly impact our lives, or we reject them as
We either mask up in order to protect each other from grim
possibilities, or we march to proclaim our individual rights in
the face of grim possibilities. We are challenged to face the
fears that provoke our reactions: Are you more afraid of illness
and possible death, or of a possible conspiracy to control your
What strange times that challenge all we thought was true. What
a Revelation.We see this great divide in the church as well.
Some Christians accept mandated restrictions as a Christian
They accept Covid as a temporary condition, a trial that calls
them to sacrifice the gathered life in order to care for and
protect each other. Many have moved worship online, some have
moved outdoors. Being “the Church” looks very different. Yet
They continue to stay connected, to read scripture, to pray, to
sing together when possible (weather permitting!). They text,
email, video chat, meet in Zoom, knowing that nothing can stand
in the way of the will of our Creator and the will of God’s
people to continue.
Other Christians have seen the pandemic as a call to courage in
the face of threat, a call to faithful gathering in the face of
hell or threat of death.
They invite persecution as a testament to this abiding faith.
They welcome the possibility of miracles. Is there one right way
to be church in a pandemic? Perhaps this is our Apocalypse. When
we draw back the veil that reveals the heart of God, we will
discover that the belief systems that divided us are illusions.
The only reality is love. It’s right there in the Bible. God is
Love. Love One Another.
(John 4:13, 3:11) And This is a Revelation.