Rejoicing in Decay

ozymandias“Let us then as Christians rejoice that we see around us on every hand the decay of the institutions and instruments of power, see intimations of empires falling to pieces, money in total disarray, dictators and parliamentarians alike nonplussed by the confusion and conflicts which encompass them. For it is precisely when every earthly hope has been explored and found wanting, when every possibility of help from earthly sources has been sought and is not forthcoming, when every recourse this world offers, moral as well as material, has been explored to no effect, when in the shivering cold the last faggot [log] has been thrown on the fire and in the gathering darkness every glimmer of light has finally flickered out, it’s then that Christ’s hand reaches out sure and firm. Then Christ’s words bring their inexpressible comfort, then his light shines brightest, abolishing the darkness forever. So, finding in everything only deception and nothingness, the soul is constrained to have recourse to God himself and to rest content with him.” ~ Malcolm Muggeridge, “The End of Christendom,” 56.

We despair of worldly decay only when our hopes have been hung on the world. We are mystified by the dissolution of worldly powers only when we have failed to know the reality of the eternal Kingdom. The breakdown of the world–of all human powers and works–is inevitable. But the Christian has recourse to a way through the destruction–we follow the pillar and the cloud, passing through the waters of death and into new life in a new empire, the perfect king of which is undying and unchanging.


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