Reading the Signs

Life Notes—November 26, 2009 

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.  People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken…Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-26,28 

Prophesies of the end-times confuse me.  They remind me of reading a horoscope in the newspaper—often they are so general it matters little whether you read your own or someone else’s, chances are it will look pretty accurate, at least in retrospect…even if it takes a little creative nudging.  I do not know how to read the signs of the sun, moon and stars. I’ve met intelligent people who seem to know something about how the heavenly movements and relationships reflect events on earth, but the ‘science’ seems a little squishy to me.  I have yet to meet anyone with a very successful or consistent track record in predicting future events.  

But I digress.  Prophesies of the end-times are not particularly helpful to those of us who cannot read the signs, are they?  Luke’s prophesy speaks of ‘distress among nations,’ confusion and people fainting ‘from fear and foreboding.’  I remember a time when I believed I would not live to see thirty.  The Cold War with the Soviet Union was in full swing and my reading of the signs of the times was that the world would end in nuclear holocaust sooner rather than later.  I was wrong.  Although I have not seen it, there is a movie out titled, “2012,” the premise of which is that since the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 the world will end with it.  Is is true?  Ask me again in 2013, but I’m guessing 2012 will pass in pretty much the same way every other year has for me.  Odds are I’m right. 

However, the end-times prophesies often share a common and relevant theme.  It goes like this: Strange things will happen, then everything will be okay.  So, even if we don’t know when strange things are going to happen, or just how strange things will get, we do know at some point they will end and everything will be fine.  Maybe I don’t need to read the signs, I just need to be faithful.  Imagine that. 

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent.  The theme is Hope.  Kara will be preaching from the scripture Luke:21:25-36.  Her sermon title is “Hope While We Wait.”  Life Worship in Brady Hall begins at 10:45.  Traditional worship in the sanctuary is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Contemporary worship at the west campus begins at 9:30.  Here’s a prophesy for you: When the sun rises on Sunday morning it will be time to go to church!   

Come home to worship this Sunday!  Stranger things have happened…

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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