Last week’s baccalaureate program for the Greenfield, Missouri, class of 2011 (graduating seniors), and for the class of 2015 (finishing middle school and moving up), was wonderful. I was especially impressed with the special music
shared by two members of the graduating class.
In the sermon, Pastor Robert Burton challenge the young people to take to heart the words spoken by God to Samuel: “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b). In truth, each of us would do well to consider Pastor Robert Burton’s challenge, to realize that we are so much more than what others see, and even more than what we ourselves see in the mirror. The true reality is what exists in God’s mind, and God looks at us through “grace-colored” glasses, seeing all that is possible through Christ.
Congratulations, Class of 2011! May you find strength for your journey and hope for your future.
_____________________And now for the rest of the article!_______________________
Even those of us who considered Harold Camping a bit “off-kilter” were wondering what might happen on May 21st. You would have to be disconnected from all media to not know that Mr. Camping, with his allegorical view of the Bible, predicted that the Rapture would occur this past Saturday, removing true believers from this world of evil and thus ushering in the time of the tribulation. Unfortunately, like many “prophets” before him, Camping was wrong. It was not the judgment day or the end of the world. In fact, the day was pretty normal overall.
Jesus told the disciples that no one knows the day or the hour of his return and, therefore, they should make every effort to be ready, whenever He returns. In fact, being ready is one of Jesus’ main discipleship themes. Consider the wise and foolish virgins. The wise ladies brought extra oil as they waited for the bridegroom. When the foolish ladies ran out of oil, they had to travel back to town to purchase some. In the meantime, the bridegroom did arrive, and the wise virgins were able to enter into the wedding feast while the others were out looking for oil for their lamps. Even the Boy Scouts of America are taught to be prepared for anything. And the Marines, well, Semper Fi!
As I began this article the news started to trickle in about the tornado damage in the Joplin area. The news reports captivated our household as we began to think about people we know from the Joplin area. I half-hoped/half-feared to hear the next report. On Facebook I found out that a colleague, with whom I attended seminary, lost everything. Thankfully, he wrote, his church had been spared. I’m sure that the hospital had drills and that they were ready. Most of the homeowners and those on the highway knew what to do, but they had no notice. In fact, the entire Joplin area had only a few minutes at the most to prepare for the tornado. What can you do in just a few minutes? Obviously, not enough.
We in the Midwest tend to “poo-poo” tornado and storm warnings and watches, mainly because there are so many false alarms. Years ago at Central Bible College, during a fire alarm, on our way to the shelter I noticed my neighbor in the trailer court standing at his outdoor grill. “Let’s go,” I called out through the rain. “There’s a tornado coming!” Carlos, formerly of Kansas, just laughed and said, “I’ll be fine. I’ve got some good meat cooking here.”
It is the same way with our faith. We think that we’ve got plenty of time to get ready. I’ll get to church one of these days. Oh, I’m sure I’ll have time to pray before I die. The only problem is that, just like the tornado in Joplin, we may not have as much time as we might hope. Friends, today is the day of salvation. Now is the time to be prepared for the future. Don’t wait. Develop a disaster plan with your family. Learn how to be safe in every situation. Know where to go and what to do to protect your life and the lives of your family members. And when it comes to eternal life, don’t wait until tomorrow, because, just as May 21st revealed, no one knows the day and the hour when Christ will return, just as none of us knows the moment when our lives will be required of us.
Call on the Lord today, and pray for the people of Joplin and their families.
Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church