I often reflect on the seasons as symbols of Judeo-Christian ideas, especially when I am out walking. I think of the resurrection of Christ and the saints and our being born again of the Holy Spirit in spring. I think of the Fall and the consequences of sin in autumn and winter.
The summer is now drawing to a close, and we find ourselves wondering just what will happen with schools and universities in a COVID-19 world. Looking back to the run up to the longest day, it was a time of joy for me, because I despise the darkness of winter. In the old days of commuting to and from the office or my workplace before that, I used to hate going home in the dark.
Summer-time is when I feel closest to the Millennium. I can almost see it; almost taste it. The Millennium is important to me, not just as a part of my eschatology, but as a core component of the Gospel, of my biblical hope and moral outlook on life.
When we consider that God’s standard is perfection, that justice must be perfect, we realise that even here in the West, where we have so much to be grateful for, we still fall short of God’s ideal for this world. The Millennium is important as a time when the world sees an increase in the quality and quantity of justice, in the quality of life itself. Nations that disobey Christ are punished. The Law goes out from Zion. The saints rule and are vindicated.
However, the Millennium also teaches a valuable lesson – outward righteousness is not enough. At the end of the Millennium, when Satan is released from the Abyss, he seduces much of the world into a war against Christ and His people. It is not enough to be ruled by goodness externally – without being born again of the Holy Spirit, we are doomed.
Thus Christ’s millennial rule, wonderful and deeply longed-for as it is, must give way to the New Heavens and the New Earth, to the time when He will commit all things to the Father.
I observed in my heart before the COVID-19 crisis that the proliferation of hairdressers, bars, and certain other types of economic activity was not sustainable. I believed that when the next recession hit (and I believed one was imminent on the grounds that they seem to happen roughly every 10 years), a lot of these businesses would be the first to go, because their patrons would have little to no disposable income and credit would be hard to come by.
I am no prophet. I did not foresee and could not have foreseen that a pandemic would be the trigger for recession, or that these businesses would be particularly affected because they involve congregation and close physical contact.
I was concerned, however, about the amount of money the average person was spending on these things, living from paycheck to paycheck, and the proliferation of credit. I was concerned about the cultural impact of vanity and “eat, drink, and be merry” attitudes. I was concerned that our education system was not preparing people for work. I was concerned that our economy did not have enough manufacturing and primary industry to balance out our service-industry bias.
If we can overcome COVID-19, I would like to see our government reform our economy, our education system, and our financial system.