Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
John’s book of Revelation has some of the most dramatic imagery in the bible, it is a film makers dream. It is, I think, perhaps the best written imagery that is on par with the fantasy film genre. Its message, though not fantasy, is encoded against a fantastical backdrop to make it difficult for the outsider to understand. Those outsiders were the persecutors of the early Church John was writing to. Its subject though is also enigmatic to many readers. It deals with the end of days, the end of time. To the early audience it also described the end of their persecution and their salvation. It is dramatic fantastical writing about a very important subject, the way it is written it seems to be a once in a lifetime event. Jesus parable describes the coming of the Kingdom of God as the blossoming of a tree, a springtime event and an ordinary event people experience many times in their lifetime. What a contrast to Johns Revelation! To think of that a little though, isn’t that Kingdom so often within our reach, and are there not many “ends of time” in our lifetimes? Many times that “end of time”, is the starting of a new chapter in life, or reaching a final decision on an important event that will likely never be overturned. Each of those seasonal events of a lifetime have the opportunity to bear fruit, if only people stop to recognize them. The problem then I that if one peers at the Kingdom of God as an afterlife event, they might miss the events of a lifetime that serve as entry points towards that same Kingdom. Jesus did destroy that barrier between life and death, between heaven and earth. When he taught the Kingdom of God is at hand, it indeed is as close as a blossoming tree. If one only is attentive to the signs of its presence, it too can blossom before our eyes.