Life will go on un­til his re­turn

The Covington News - - Religion -

Spring has fi­nally come to New­born.

The sun­shine and rains are bring­ing ev­ery­thing into bloom, and yes­ter­day the in­evitable fi­nally hap­pened — I had to mow the grass.

We have a 1966 John Deere rid­ing lawn mower and it does its best to pull my 210 pounds and to keep the blade turn­ing. It isn’t very fast.

Oc­ca­sion­ally there is a loud pop as the en­gine back­fires, as if it is say­ing, “Put me back in the shed.”

Driv­ing around and around I was think­ing about how con­stant the sea­sons are, just as God said they would be.

There is a lot of talk to­day about global warm­ing.

On the in­ter­net last month there were pic­tures of the breakup of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, a 5,300 squaremile Antarc­tic ice penin­sula (about 1/10 of the size of Ge­or­gia) that has now be­come a bunch of ice­bergs.

To hear some peo­ple speak of it, you would think that the ice melt­ing is a sign that life on Earth is soon to be over. In fact, last year when NBC’s Matt Lauer was in­tro­duc­ing a story on global warm­ing he said, “It could be the end of the world as we know it.” I don’t think so. The one who has seen the fu­ture said, “As long as the earth en­dures, seed­time and har­vest, cold and heat, sum­mer and win­ter, day and night will never cease” (Ge­n­e­sis 8:22).

In other words, global warm­ing or not, life is go­ing to con­tinue, the sea­sons will come and go, in the spring the rains will re­turn, the sun will shine, and we will still have to cut the grass.

That is … un­til we come to the end of the story.

Some­day the Lord will re­turn and this era of hu­man his­tory will be over. Je­sus said that it would come with­out warn­ing, while the world is go­ing about busi­ness as usual. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the com­ing of the Son of Man. For in the days be­fore the flood, peo­ple were eat­ing and drink­ing, mar­ry­ing and giv­ing in mar­riage, up to the day Noah en­tered the ark” (Matthew 24:36-38).

Global warm­ing — maybe hu­man­ity can slow it, maybe we can’t, maybe it is sim­ply a fluc­tu­a­tion in the plan­e­tary weather cy­cle.

Maybe we should just say the words of this familiar prayer, “ God, give us grace to ac­cept with seren­ity the things that can­not be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wis­dom to dis­tin­guish the one from the other” 1934).

But as to the real end of the world as we know it, how would you live dif­fer­ently if we were in­deed at the end of the age and Je­sus was to re­turn to­day at sun­set?

For­get global warm­ing, here is some­thing to worry about.

( Rein­hold Niebuhr,

John Donaldson

Colum­nist

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