1 Thessalonians 3:3-19
Peace be with you!
In the twenty-first century, we are inundated with “signs” telling us what to think, what to do, how to act and dress, and [whatever “it” is] that is our sights. The
sun rises in the east alerting us to a new day; radio personalities inform of the day’s weather and news; our significant others leave us notes of their love or notes reminding us of the schedule for the day; we drive to work and see billboards advertising local businesses and services; we get to work and find emails informing us of upcoming projects; later, we watch our favorite television shows on our computers and tablets. Signs inform us what is going on in the world.
The Christmas festivities are now in full swing. You just have to step into Wal-Mart to be greeted with a cardboard Santa informing you Christmas is just twenty-three days away. As you walk pass the jewelry department, you read: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” And if your kids happen to be with you, you are dragged to the toy department accompanied by begging and whining for the latest toys. According to Wal-Mart or [whatever department store you go to], Christmas is about buying gifts.
Jesus tells us about the sign of the end of time: earth will pass away (Luke 21:25-26) and the Son of Man will come in a cloud (Luke 21:27a NRSV). In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a few friends have asked if the end of time is coming. Although I am sure more destruction will happen before the end, it is important to remember that when that day comes, it will bring hope with it. We are looking towards the beginning of the end as we look forward to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and as we look towards the second coming of Jesus Christ. And when Jesus comes, he brings hope with him.
The destructive power of natural disasters, such as forest fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes, can leave communities devastated and in hopeless states of minds. A friend and I were discussing how dependent we are on electricity – from lights and heat to paying bills online and keeping touch with friends and family around the world. Much of our daily activities are dependent on electricity and we often do not realize this is true until it is gone. It scares me to think about not having electricity for a week, because I have to charge my electric wheelchair every few days. Otherwise, I am stuck relying on others to push me around in my manual wheelchair.
Yet Jesus says this world will pass away before the end of time will happen. We have to lose everything that surrounds our lives before we can stand in front of Jesus in the Kingdom of God. We must lose our comfort zone before we see the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise. As natural destruction happens, we keep our eyes on Jesus, because destruction means new life. The world may fall apart, but Jesus’ words of promise will always mean something to us – new life in the wake of destruction.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the signs leading us to your kingdom at the end of time. Help us to keep strong as the earth falls away. Remind us that your word will never stop having power. Lead us to your kingdom. Thank you for new life after destruction as you have promised. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. What signs lead you in your life?
2. How have you experience new life after destruction?