On the taking of hints
Many have attributed their survival to "God", but all the death and destruction has uniformly been attributed to "nature". The bewildered Very Reverend Peter Beck, Dean of the collapsed Christchurch Cathedral, exclaimed "God only knows!" to a TV reporter immediately after the event. Maybe He does...
As the Book of Revelation so often repeats: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
I don't need Tom Hanks in hushed tones, in candle light, to translate it from the Hebrew to convince me that something biblical is playing out here. I don't need the blamers of the sodomites to add a biblical flourish to what has occurred (it is far more likely that the idolatory and vehemence of the Christians themselves has brought this upon the city of Christ than any specific form of fornication). I don't have to be convinced that rocks raining from the hills, the earth swallowing things up, the temples falling, people killed en mass, and a coming plague of ill health and suffering upon the rest of the population is biblical.
The 'Spirit' has destroyed the city named after Jesus Christ and his place of worship. The first warning of September 4th was followed by another after-shock and then, last Tuesday, a devastating quake occured. That's the third warning. Someone's dropping some pretty big hints that it is game over for Chch. It is time to flee this accursed Babylon:
Rev. 6:12-17 "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
And as for the 144,000 left standing (Rev. 7:4) - that may well be Christchurch's population after this is over.
So the bad news is we're up to seal 6 of 7, good news is the seventh seal has another 7 sequences of events, before we get to the point where people don't feel the need to live in a city of temples, Rev. 21:22 "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
The part of Canterbury that Christchurch sits on is a river flood plain - thus the liquefaction. The Waimakiriri has swept through the town before in its early years of settlement and may do so again. It is highly unstable - is it also unsustainable? The resources of the nation are being marshalled into the resurrection of Christchurch, but is this the best investment for the sacrifices that the rest of the country will be forced to endure in order to complete it? Will we be throwing good money after bad in our efforts to thwart a power we cannot know or command?
Rev. 21:3-6 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.:
Some serious assessments need to be made on the long-term viability considering six months later it is more unsettled than before.
In the short term the victims need to be formally farewelled. I note there is a World Day of Prayer on Friday 4th March - that's ten days since the quake. A majority of the bodies may have been recovered at that point. I have no clue what is organised, but I would recommend all the caskets be layed out in Cathedral Square on Friday morning with people (relatives of the victims first) able to file past along Colombo St. through the middle of the destruction - and sign condolence books in front of the Cathedral ruins (to give them a time to reflect in view of the caskets). I imagine speeches and so on could be conducted in an ecumenical fashion either at dawn or perhaps coinciding with a (inter)national minute of silence at 12:51pm. Then the bodies can be released for funerals/tangi/flown overseas that night, or on Saturday. There must be a national point of closure on the human tragedy once a majority of the dead are recovered.