Pastor’s Perspective 11-27-18
Monday’s paper heralded the good news that the catastrophic fire that has been raging in California is finally contained. The deadliest wildfire in over a century. Almost 19,000 buildings, most of them homes, are gone. Whole neighborhoods were leveled. At least 85 people confirmed dead. Approximately 250 are still unaccounted for. It is hard to believe that today, with all of the means we have to warn people about potential harm, that one fire could claim so many lives and leave so many missing. It speaks to the unexpected suddenness of its spread. Hundreds were either caught completely unaware or did not have time to respond.
I’ve been thinking about the parallels with the two comings of Christ. Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago was the greatest news this world has ever received. The angel declared to the shepherds that night, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord.” Hard to believe that only a small number of people were aware of what was happening. Mary and Joseph. A handful of shepherds. A few magi. Not even the people feet away in the inn had any idea! How sad to be so close to the Savior of the world, the means of eternal life, and be so oblivious!
Christ’s second coming will be so different. Instead of only a few who witnessed His birth, the whole world will see Him return. The Bible says even those who pierced Him. Like the fire in California, His return will be sudden and unexpected. Instead of hundreds caught unaware, it will be millions. The California fire, as devastating as it was, will not compare with the destruction this world will experience on that day according to Scripture. For those who don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord, it will be a total loss. But for those who do, it will be the greatest day of our lives!
From the familiar phrase in Hark, the Herald Angels Sing – “joyful all ye nations rise” – this year’s Singing Christmas Tree calls all nations to rise to the good news that Jesus has come and that He is coming again. It points to the truth that in heaven there will be “a great multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” crying out “in a loud voice, salvation belongs to our God.” We just have to get the word out so everyone has a chance to respond.
See you Sunday! ~ John