Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Watching the heavens....

One the eve of what many among us refer to as Good Friday, I am prompted to write about the response to an event that has happened in the heavens earlier in the week.  Perhaps, you have already heard of the Blood Moon and been made aware of its significance to some.

On Monday evenings, I have been attending a GriefShare meeting at a local church and as I had parked my car and headed for the door, I noticed the couple who monitor the class, parked near the entrance and they let me know the doors were locked.  We would have to wait for someone to open them.  As the man and I were standing outside, he asked me if I had heard of the Blood Moon and I said I had - many times over the years.  He was really excited as he and his wife had been watching a well known TV pastor talking of the significance of this phenomenon.  Well, I had heard that particular Pastor many times over the years and no longer watch him as most of the predictions he had made in that time had turned out to be figments of his imagination.

Fortunately, they came to open the door so I was not able to continue with my opinion as the two were very serious Christians I had come to love for the experiences they shared with our class.  And since I loved them, I was not about to comment on the voice they had been listening to.

I only wished they could have been in church on Wednesday evening as the Pastor assigned to that service went to great lengths to detail the history of "blood" moons over the years.  He detailed the history of the Jewish people with reference to this phenomenon, but also pointed out, the rich history of the Jewish religion that focused on signs and moons that govern their rituals.  He did a very good job and I pray that those who were listening took that information seriously.  After all, the nation of Israel and our own nation are allied together.  We are brothers and sisters in our faith in God.

Last evening, I came upon an article in the New York Times on this subject, noting that, in certain circles, this rare appearance was seen as the "Start of Something Big".  And that was certainly the impression of the friends I referred to earlier.  The article refers to the impression that religious TV is repeating the stories that seem to be rampant in many churches.  Stories of "killer" viruses, planetary power failures, nuclear wars and of course, the Rapture.

Shades of the recently departed, Harold Camping. and of Robert Fitzpatrick, the man who wasted away his life's savings on signs posted in the New York City's subway systems, warning of the "greatest ever earthquake" scheduled for a day certain in May.

Why do we seem to delight in repeating these stories?  I have an answer and you may not want to hear it, but my trust is not in stories, even those that might make me think twice about the welfare of my family and my children, in particular.  The Bible I read states specifically that "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."  (Psalm 118:24)

To me the whole thing is intriguing, not by the claims, but by our response to them.  I am not one of those who goes about quoting scripture - I had to look up the source of the earlier Bible verse, but my life is not based on the teachings, even the warnings of others.  Putting your trust in the words of men and women who seem to delight in the warnings they have discovered in the Bible or elsewhere, is very much like the fears that come about when one first hears the roar of an ocean or cowers whenever a bad storm hits the area where they live.  Of course, people drown in the ocean and some are blown away in violent storms, but we need to examine the latent power of our belief systems.

It has been centuries since Jesus the man walked on this earth, but He left behind words of comfort in the storms of life and joy in the face of adversity.  It took me almost forty-five years to learn that basic truth, but He created in me a faith that endures, regardless of what I might hear from others, even when such words might come from a pulpit.  Now as I am approaching my fortieth anniversary of embracing that faith, I rejoice at what I have learned to believe and better yet, the courage to walk in it.

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