Earthly disasters point toward bigger signs

By Pastor Randy Fossum
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

I know from observation only that as a baby comes closer to being delivered, the contractions and birth pains associated with the delivery become more frequent and intense. These are all fairly good indicators that one should be prepared for a delivery. Now would not be a good time to go canoeing or to divert attention somewhere else; otherwise, you could miss out on a delivery not to be repeated again.

Might there be another delivery anytime soon? Are we observing perhaps that contractions are intensifying?

20: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21: because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22: For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

—Romans 8.

One can’t help but make the observation that creation has been laboring with more frequent and intensified birth pains of late; the earthquake the other day out East is a case in point. And who can forget that creation groaned and moaned at a level of 9.0 in Japan back in March with the devastating tsunamis that followed, the 6.3 quake in New Zealand in February, the volcanic activity across the globe, the massive flooding in Australia some months back, and we could go on and on.

It’s not that there weren’t disasters in the past. There have been and will continue to be until Judgment Day, but we need to sit up and take notice and be aware that the delivery could come any time. Like a baby’s delivery, Judgment Day won’t be repeated. There is more.

Disasters are reminders of our sinfulness, our frailty, our need for repentance (see Luke 13:1-5), and our need to rely completely upon the God of Holy Scripture for our help and deliverance. If there is one message that is loud and clear in every disaster, it is how fragile and how fleeting everything is in this life. The news reports we heard back in March about Japan bore that lesson out vividly.

How soon is creation’s delivery from the consequences of sin? I won’t set a date; we’ll leave that to the Harold Campings of the world. From the earth’s contractions and moaning, it would seem that God is boiling the water and reminding us to be ready. Are you?

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