A long trail of prophets and dark prophecies precedes the apocalypse. When you’re dead, you don’t care. When you’re partly living with no eyes, one leg and half a mind, there’s not much comfort in remembrance. Much better to forget. Or try to. It’s all a bit grim, really. You can sink into compensatory fantasies of Eden, or meditate on assurances of divine intervention. When faith in humanity has gone, you’re left with the eternal kingdom of God or an eternity of rotting in compost. That’s the choice.
They fought for justice, freedom and peace. They still do, in allegories of eschatological perfection. A destabilised world still groans, and perhaps it always will – at least until the promised return. Until then, we have remembrance. Or forgetfulness. It’s not a contradiction: truth can be symbol; a word can be spiritual.
But evil cannot be good. We can try until the end of time to restrain violence and injustice with the eyes, legs and minds of young men and women. They’ll bear their suffering for the cameras, and stoically wheel themselves up to stone crosses to place their wreathes of poppies in remembrance. But they’d much rather forget. Aren’t beautiful thoughts far better than dark and bloody memories of being tortured by the Antichrist?
Wars and rumours of wars, nation rising against nation, betrayals, hatreds, false prophets, iniquity abiding, and love waxing cold. It’s a long, long trail of sin and bloody massacre. We don’t learn, do we?
Jesus can’t be far off.
Perhaps he is already here.