Scripture Focus: Zechariah 14.6-9
6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
Reflection: The End of Evil
By Erin Newton
In times of great tragedy, the weight of evil is unbearable. Hope can be elusive. Each new day feels darker. Sometimes, evil is inflicted upon us and other times it comes from our corrupted hearts.
Israel lost her way and became a community that abused power over foreigners and the poor. They indulged in sexual immorality and killed their children. They only cared about satiating their greed, lust, or power. This degradation of morality and breach of the covenant led them into exile.
Zechariah recalled how the people had sinned and God’s judgment as the consequence. They had already started rebuilding the city, the temple, and reinstating proper justice. Yet, it was still met with struggles from outside (Nehemiah 4) and from within the community (Ezra 9). In the depths of their grief, we can imagine their desire for a glimmer of hope. God tells them of the future restoration.
The final prophetic vision is a land of never-fading light that never grows cold. The preceding verses are harsh and jarring—possessions are stolen, women are violated. The message of this future hope feels out of place, maybe a little impossible.
Recurring tragedies can leave us with an endless sense of dread. We ask ourselves, Will this evil ever stop? Can we learn to love one another? Ourselves? Pain has a way of stealing hope. The weight of grief can drown out any optimistic thought of better days.
The last few weeks have been incredibly painful. Adults and children have been murdered at the hand of evil. Clergy sexual abuse had been covered up and victims shamed. Countless other tragedies in local communities and personal lives never reach the headlines. It is an act of faith that makes a sense of hope possible. We need to know things will be made right.
God gave us these glimpses into a brighter future because he knew our souls would grow weary. Like the Israelites, we are called to repent and return to the Lord. We can begin to reform our community, to enact justice, to seek peace, to create environments that cherish the lives of every human being. But in the end, it’ll never fix every wrong.
As we read through the prophets, let us remember that while it feels like our world is “always winter and never spring” God is coming to make an end of evil.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him. — Psalm 96.9
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Ultimately, fear is not what Revelation is about. It is about love.
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As we anticipate the ultimate fulfillment of this promise, may we participate in work God calls us to which fulfills it in part.