"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in
heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days
of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
Matthew 24: 36, 37 (NIV)
I was thinking, and maybe you have, too, when is this all going to end? I'm not talking specifically the End of Times or End of Days, I'm talking about corona virus, masks, vaccines, protests, riots, calls to defund the police, and...oh, yeah, the upcoming Presidential Election. I know there are some people who say a lot of this will go away once the election happens. My concern is, what will be next? If President Trump gets re-elected, there will be people who have lost their minds who will lose them all over again. And, if Mr. Biden wins, we don't know if he'll go with the very progressives who have been pushing on so many issues these last 20 years. It's times like these I'd just like to go back to
bed and pull the covers up over my head!
But, that isn't what God calls us to do. We are to stay faithful and stay focused. We know that there will come a time when all of this will come to an end, at least as far as we know it. Trouble is, we don't know when it will be and, at the time of Jesus speaking above, He didn't either. The one thing we do know is, we will be going about our daily routines when it happens. Whether that is a normal routine or a "new normal," we don't have a clue.
Jesus continued, "For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (v. 38, 39) See, people were going about their everyday lives. In some ways, that gives me comfort. When the End of Days comes, maybe it will look like today. The problem arises for those people who don't know the Lord. They are going about their day the same as the day before. Lost. Can you get a picture of those who lived during the time of Noah? They would actually ridicule him for his obedience to God. That may be our "new normal," being ridiculed, hated, slandered, imprisoned, or worse for living for Jesus. It seems that we get closer to that time every day, every year. We find in our current culture that we can't acknowledge Jesus in certain places or circumstances because it would/might offend other religions. Too bad. (It's the same with saying "America is great." We are being insensitive nationalists who are bigoted against other ethnicities. That's ridiculous; we are just proud of our country. The same way we are proud of, and love, Jesus.)
On that happy note, I encourage you to read Chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew. There are dire warnings in these verses, but look for the good parts as you read. There are also words of encouragement from Jesus within them. I look at these Chapters and Chapters 5 through 7 (The Sermon on the Mount) as really important reads for the Christian. If you don't read the Bible in a year or do a devotion, then at the least, set apart and read these 5 Chapters. Once you've done that, you can expand and try to connect the other Gospels (a good reference Bible is really beneficial and a Study Bible is even better!). We need to understand that Jesus has given us a lot of information on how to live and what the consequences will be if we choose not to follow Him. Make sure you're informed. Unlike our government and health officials, His Word never changes.
Speaking of those officials, we will continue to meet as often as we can. We have been averaging 40 at each service since we opened back up, and our offerings have been good. The Bible
studies have also been very well attended. Continue to keep those who aren't able to attend in your prayers. Our Annual Conference will be held on September 12th online from 9 am until 1 pm. I don't have any idea what recommendations will be presented at this time. Still, prayers are needed for that
upcoming meeting and for God's hand to be upon Maineville UMC. May August be a better month for us all. Keep moving forward and God bless.