Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 New Testament Challenge – Day 6 (Matthew 19-24)

Every year I participate in a special effort called the New Testament Challenge sponsored by a priest of the Orthodox Church in America. He encourages Christians to spend the Christmas Fast, also known as Advent) reading the entire New Testament as a preparation for Christmas. Each year I have done this, it has been blessing to me and I pray this year will be no different. As part of the New Testament Challenge, I endeavor to blog a bit about the reading for that particular day. I may miss a few, but I pray for those who follow this blog (NOW ALSO ON FACEBOOK) it will be a blessing.

Last year, our weekly Bible study at the Church was focused upon Genesis. Each week we witnessed the mercy and love of God, as He allowed His children the freedom that only comes from God. Each week we witnessed just how much His children disobeyed Him and turned away from Him. Each week we witnessed the decline of humanity to such a low…..and then….He saved them.

Adam and Eve declined to death when they ate from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God saved them at the last moment before it was too late.

Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" -- therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. – Genesis 3.22

And God gave Adam and Eve, and through them all humanity, a fresh new start to live in communion with Him.

Then again, we witnessed the decline of humanity, all except Noah and his family.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. – Genesis 6.5-8

And God gave Noah and his family, and through them all humanity, a fresh start to live in communion with Him.

The Tower of Babel also reveals the same pattern. (Genesis 11.1-9)

Every time we humans get “bigger than our britches” God comes to the rescue.

This reality gives me comfort nowadays as I read/listen to the news. It seems obvious to me that humanity is following a pattern so many times before experienced by our ancestors. In today’s readings we heard,

For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. – Matthew 24.38-39

For some the coming of the Lord is terrifying. I prefer to be comforted knowing that EVERY time we humans have declined to such lows as, and many would agree with me here, we are now, the Lord has come to our rescue. Of course the next time will be the last. But for me that news is comforting. I suppose it’s because I believe and love the Lord. And God will give US, all humanity, a fresh start in a new Creation, a new Heaven.

Until tomorrow….take comfort in knowing the Lord will return before it’s too late!

No comments: