The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away. – Matthew 16: 1-4
In watching a baseball game from a distance when the pitch is hit, first is seen the flight of the ball and then the awaited crack of the bat when it meets the ball. There is a definite delay between the flight and the sound. Why is this? Because the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. Now, should we get closer to the game, then the delay is less and less, until we are at the field and both flight and sound seem to coincide.
As a thunder storm approaches one can tell if the storm is getting close or moving further away. If the sound of thunder that follows the incident of lightening is further separated from the lightening then the storm is moving away. If it lessens then it is approaching. When directly overhead, like the bat hitting the ball, both lightening and clap of thunder also seem to coincide. I say coincide because the characteristics of both still hold. So though the different speeds of each are not clearly discernable, by their nature they still exist.
“Let There Be Light.” – Genesis. In that phrase the supreme Author set the stage for the approaching final scene of the history of mankind.
As the celebration of Christmas approaches, though it may be even weeks away, there are certain signs of the season that alert us that it is on its way. Whether it be Santa at the end of the Thanksgiving parade, or more importantly the lighting of each of four Advent candles in the Christian faith. The Christmas tree being brought into the house, the decorations being displayed, and the manger with all replicas of participants in their places save for the One. So as these signs begin to accumulate, we know that the event of Christmas is near. When the One, the Word made flesh, is placed in the crib, we then know that the awaited event that IS Christmas is complete. The time has come in that fulfillment. The key chapter in the history of mankind’s destiny is about to be written.
The Judgment of the Nations
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:31-46
From John, author of Revelations
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 21:6-7 Then He said to me, “It is done.”
The event of Christmas sets in place the event of Calvary and Easter. God entered His creation to reconcile Himself with His creatures, Man and Woman. And He did so in innocence as a child born of a virgin and in humility by being born in a cave among the lowly not the elevated. This was done so to impress upon us all that innocence and humility are the requisites for the fulfillment of that reconciliation. For: “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.… Matthew 18:3-4.
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Advent is now upon us. May we prepare for His coming in straightening out our house. By that, straighten out our hearts.