Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reading God's Tea Leaves

At the same time a skeptical world (Christians included) waited for a timetable to judgment predicted for May 21, we have watched in shock at the devastation and continued storms throughout the US.  Even those who were not inclined to believe Mr. Camping's timeline, might be inclined to wonder about the storms and the mighty acts of God in nature and whether they preclude something more than just weather.  It all brings to mind how hard it is to read God's tea leaves or to discern much from the apparent signs all around us.  In the end, it is amazing how quickly we would retreat from the things that God has spoken clearly in order to fixate upon the things we see through the mirror dimly.  A world of curious and yet disdainful critics of the faith want to know what cannot be known and refuse what can and should be known from God's revelation.  We might expect it from those not yet of the household of God but why do we Christians also lean in that direction?

In balance, we should be drawn by our uncertainty to the things of which we are certain.  In those moments the words of the catechism should echo in our ears about the daily and richly care God provides those whom He has made, about how precious we are to Him who spared not His own Son in order to purchase us from sin and its death, and about the Holy Spirit who calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies us and all the elect -- and that no one and nothing can steal us away from God's grasp.

Uncertainty is a killer which prowls about the realm of disaster and seemingly certain prophecies about the future. When we face such uncertainty, we should be driven into the arms of that which is most certain and most true -- we retreat into the Word of God, what God has said, we repeat as those things about which we may have most confidence.  That is, we return to the cross and empty tomb, to the love that will not let us go, and to the grace that is the one unchanging foundation on which God has built us into His house.

So wars and rumors of wars.... disaster upon disaster.... they come and go but Christ remains and in Him is our hope and our joy... This is not a refuge we run to when we have no where else to turn, it is also the place in which we live when we have all sorts of choices and options. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's also the temptation even for christians to say these are "natural" disasters, that God had nothing to do with the tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis. God would never kill or destroy especially "innocent" folks or Christians...