Signs of the times

We’ve had a lot of rain here in the southwest of the UK over the last couple of weeks.  There have been a few days where the rain has started in the morning and not stopped until the evening.  The worst that’s happened to me though is some very wet shoes, a few large puddles in the road and an overall feeling of dampness.

I’m extremely grateful that we haven’t been subject to the awful flooding that has devastated Pakistan recently, and that the weather here in the UK rarely causes such tragedy.  It has seemed of late that there is one ecological disaster after another.  This year we have also seen the destructive earthquakes in Chile and Haiti which have again prompted worldwide concern and relief efforts.

As well as ecological disasters, over the last couple of years the world has been experiencing what is probably the first GLOBAL financial economic crisis.  There have of course been recessions and downturns many times before, along with periods of unemployment and failing businesses, but never before have the world’s banks been linked in such a global fashion.  What happens in the USA affects the finances in Europe, and in Asia, and has a knock on effect all over the world.

People debate as to whether such disasters are indeed more common than they used to be, or if the effects of global communication and increased population simply make us more aware of these events.  Brief research on this subject to be honest is inconclusive.  Ecological disaster is such a wide subject with so many variables, and over the years there have been many improvements in science which render comparisons over the years difficult.

However the events taking place make me think of those verses in the Bible that talk about how we will know when the return of Jesus draws near:

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.  And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.  For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. – Luke 21:10/11, 25/26

Does this passage describe the world today?  Remember that in the Bible “sun, moon and stars” often represents the leaders of the people.  Whether or not we are close to the times of the end, or whether what we see around us is only the beginning, and I do believe that we are somewhere on that timeline due to the scale of all the wars, environmental problems, economic problems and inability of world leaders to sort things out, there is no doubt that we must sit up and watch and listen.

Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. – Luke 21:28

So what can we do?  Should we give to charities, for example, the Disasters Emergency Committee?  Should we reduce our carbon footprint?  Should we watch the news to keep an eye out for the signs of the times?  Yes, these are all things we can do, but most importantly, let’s pray for the soon return of Jesus Christ, the only person who can sort out all these problems.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20

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