Friday, April 18, 2008

Wake up call

Today’s Reading: Mark 13:3-8 (NIV)

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” 5 Jesus said “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”

Good morning!

This morning, I revisited the memory of a chilly fall day in my childhood, when the New Madrid fault decided to make a little noise in the Midwest where I lived. I was sitting on the kitchen floor, watching my mother as she stirred dinner on the stove. Our house suddenly began to quiver. The dishes in the cupboard began to rattle as the light fixtures swayed overhead. I looked at the doll baby in my arms and noticed how her porcelain eyelids kept opening and closing. At first, we didn’t realize what was happening. The movement only lasted for a minute; yet, it was a feeling I would never, ever forget. This morning, I felt the tremors once again.

An earthquake occurred early this morning, its center originating in Southern Illinois. The US geological survey reported that it measured 5.4 on the Richter scale, just one-tenth of a point under the November 9, 1968 Midwest earthquake. It reminded me of how the freight trains used to rattle past our bedroom window on the railroad tracks just behind our church parsonage in St. Clair. While I was pregnant with our son David, I would wait until the 6:00am train came through town, and the vibrations would literally roll my body off our water bed, planting my feet firmly on the shaky floorboards. This morning’s earthquake grabbed my undivided attention, as I stood there, listening for the trumpet sound. Did you sleep through the earthquake this morning?

Jesus described what the Father’s wake-up call would one day look like. Wars and famines, earthquakes and false teaching would captivate our interest, making worldwide news. Yet, these life events would somehow manage to distract our hearts and minds away from God. Sometimes, a little quake can shake us back to reality. Was this a wake up call for you?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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