Although there’s a hint of fall in the air (which I love), I’m not talking about that kind of change. I’m talking about the kind that happens every few hundred years. (This is info we all probably know, but I’ll recap.)
Empires collapse, on average, at about 250 years. That puts the U.S. (Pax Americana) at…right about now. Check out the life cycle of an empire, according to some scholars. 1. The age of outburst (or the pioneer phase). 2. The age of conquests. 3. The age of commerce. 4. The age of affluence. 5. The age of intellect. 6. The age of decadence. 7. The age of decline and collapse.
And there are 500-year cycles within the Church and society in general. From the time of Christ, the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Dark Ages began in the 6th century. The Great Schism occurred between the East (Constantinople) and the West (Rome) in 1054 (give or take). The Great Reformation can be pegged at beginning in year 1517. Timing-wise for the next iteration, we’re at…right about now.
Talk about a double-whammy.
That next iteration is being called The Great Emergence by some. I like that word “emergence.” It gives me hope that the national craziness we’re experiencing, as well as massive division within the Church regarding evangelicalism, is part of a cycle from which we can emerge.
Something is definitely stirring. This morning, I read a poll which revealed something we agree on. 69% of Republicans think our nation’s democracy is in danger of collapse. And 69% of Democrats think our nation’s democracy is in danger of collapse. I don’t know about you, but I need courage and unprecedented resolve to navigate these next few years.
Change is in the air. I pray we’ll emerge better. Much better.