It began for many of us like a rather normal year. There was the usual anticipation of spring and summer. Suddenly it seems our world has become a quandary of unknowns, and a frantic search for facts and reason. We have witnessed flu seasons before and many of us had already had our turn with what seemed like ordinary winter flu, with some even experiencing it in overdrive. But we had recovered and we assumed time would now carry us into the spring and summer normalities of life.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus’ visage and body would be marred more than that of any man in history (Isaiah 52:14). As an Emergency Medicine medical provider who is Advanced Trauma Life Support certified and who frequently cares for critically injured trauma patients, my mind goes to these words when caring for patients whose faces and bodies have been bruised and battered by trauma. What did Jesus endure from a medical perspective in His Passion for you and me?
From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. So begins Matthew’s account of Jesus’ public ministry.
“We believe and confess that, since the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and therefore prone to all unrighteousness, sin, and wickedness, the first lesson of the precious New Testament of the Son of God is repentance and reformation of life.” So begins Article 6 of the Dordrecht Confession.
Recently our Plain Communities were brought to our knees as the news spread that a conservative young woman was missing in New Mexico. This is the kind of news you read about happening out there in society, amongst the debauchery of lust and low morals, but here, in our safe rural communities? The thought caught many of us sideways, and I suspect a few more of our people’s doors were locked at night in the days following her disappearance.
It was supposed to be a relaxing weekend at the cabin with friends from Bible school. Tucked away in the hills of Pennsylvania and back a long lane, it would seem that all the troubles of ordinary life should be easy to leave behind. But now he was faced with a choice. One of the friends had a laptop and a DVD. The options were not really attractive. Upstairs there was a game going, but they had their four players and did not need another. Downstairs was the rest of the group intent on watching some modern comedy. He could go to bed, but no one goes to bed early when on vacation!
It had begun to snow again overnight, which wasn’t too surprising since it was mid-November in Alberta. It made conversation, though, and so when I handed the room key to the clerk, I mentioned how it was beginning to get white outside again. The clerk responded with the current prediction of 15 centimeters, which caused us to do mental math. She was more skilled than I and soon complained, “Oh no, not six inches again!”
We have just taken a step over the threshold of a new year, from 2019 to 2020. What will it be like to step over the threshold from time to eternity?
We serve an eternal God. This simply means that God always was: He was before Adam; He was before the mountains; He was God a billion years before creation. He always was God.
Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh (Matt 24:44). How we view punctuality affects us both in time and eternity.
What is punctuality? It means to be ready, prepared, on time, prompt. It is doing or having something done on time. It is the characteristic of keeping an engagement or an appointment, such as a doctor or dentist appointment. When people think of me in relation to punctuality, do they see me as normally on time or normally late?
In our society, there is a lot of emphasis on change. People want to change their past, their identity, and their gender. They sometimes go through extreme measures to accomplish it. As Christians, we also face a life-altering change when we truly meet Jesus. Our priorities, identities, passions, actions, speech, loyalties, and life destination all change when we allow Jesus in our lives. Biblical examples of several men show us extreme change when Jesus met them and empowered change in their lives.
Every Wednesday, I go past a veteran’s memorial and underneath the flag is a piece of granite with these words. “A veteran: Someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check for an amount up to and including their life, made payable to the United States of America.”