Health & Wellbeing

Battle Scarred – but Hope-full

I have to keep looking at my diary or phone to determine what day it is! The calendar wasn’t much help!

When I looked at it a moment ago, it was still stuck on August! I guess that’s another effect of lockdowns; time and commitments seem to fade into insignificance as appointments are cancelled and ‘normal’ activities suspended. With much of regional New South Wales now emerging from this artificial and somewhat harrowing era, it’s the light at the end of that long, proverbial tunnel. Most of us have survived – albeit with a variety of battle scars that range from the relatively superficial to the critical.
Many things rock our world to the core. At the time of writing, that monstrous act of inhumanity to man that captivated the attention of the world and which became enshrined in history under the nomenclature of 9/11, has awakened the world’s media to its 20th anniversary. And what a mind-blowing catastrophe that was. Almost – but not quite – inconceivable! For a very short time, it has had the effect of eclipsing another modern catastrophe: Afghanistan. And on a more localized scale, other disasters like floods, landslides, ferocious storms, devastating droughts and huge wildfires.

Then there’s the challenge of climate change, which many accept has the potential to plunge our planet into an unstoppable death-spiral.
The scriptures talk about – and foreshadow – the reality and potential for much of the natural disasters that have overtaken (and will overtake) the world. Of particular relevance for us in this modern era are the poetic and powerful claims in the book of the apostle John’s “Revelation” about the eventual demise of the world. It’s difficult to pin down and crystallize the detail in this prophecy, but it’s also hard to dismiss the fact that if human beings continue to behave the way we have – or worse, accelerate our disregard for each other – we face a dangerous future.

In the US, on April 3 April 1843, half a million Adventists – disciples of New York evangelist William Miller – awaited the end of the world. Journalists had a field day. They reported that disciples were climbing mountains, hoping for a head start to heaven. Others were in cemeteries, planning to join departed loved ones as graves opened and the bodies of believers were taken up to heaven. And high society ladies were gathering outside towns and villages to avoid entering God’s Holy Kingdom with unbelievers. When the day passed without incident, instead of disillusionment, the Adventists took heart from the fact that their leader had predicted a range of dates. (Though these dates have also come and gone!)
Jesus warned against such foolishness and arrogance – declaring that though God would intervene decisively at some point in history, no-one – absolutely no-one – will know when it will occur.
But the world is on notice that ignoring God’s prescription for living in love with each other and with our Creator, does have real consequences.
While many people seem oblivious to these consequences and fail to take responsibility for unloving attitudes, those who do, endear themselves to God, enjoying his favour and protection – now and for eternity.

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