The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:15
Last week was a special week, On my dad’s 88th birthday (this one, like the last 25, in heaven), and on Thanksgiving Day, I tried to remember this verse. It’s a good thing to celebrate the coming judgment. It’s a good thing to celebrate that, in times of terror, God is still Lord and always is a refuge of peace and safety.
Then, yesterday, we worshipped at a new church, here in Gainesville. The place was filled with the presence of the Lord, but my enthusiasm for it got mellowed a little by the entire sanctuary painted black (someone I know calls it “Emo Jesus Paint”). Yet even that is a great reminder that, at the end of all things, the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will no longer shine. In that dark atmosphere, the light of Jesus will appear and shine brighter than we ever thought possible. I don’t understand the trend in churches about making everything like a heavy metal concert, but if it brings glory to God, I’m onboard.
I’m onboard because I learned from my Dad, and I remembered it on Thanksgiving, and I saw it in church, and I read it here that the Lord is a refuge for His people. I’ve sinned against God. You’ve sinned against God. We have all sinned against Him, and we deserve divine punishment.
Instead of that, Jesus’ reaction was to take our punishment once for all. In the most special week of history, he innocently died a criminal’s death, then rose victorious from it. He walked out of the tomb. He made Himself alive again as the man He was and is while still shining His true splendor. That’s who He is today. In reality, it’s who He’s always been.
It’s who you get to know today, if you so choose. I hope you do. I’ll pray you do because, at the end of all things, that same Jesus will be waiting for you, to welcome you into His presence with tears of joy, or to banish you from His presence with tears of sorrow. Personally, I think He’ll be the one doing most of the crying because He loves us that much. It’s my prayer He’ll cry tears of joy for you. Someday, He will give us the signs of the end of time, so that we might come to know Him before tears flow.
That’s also a good thing to remember. Knowing it, let’s work to make this week special, too.
For more reading: Job 9:7, Isaiah 13:9-10, Ezekiel 32:7, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25-26, Joel 3:16
Lord Jesus, Your presence in my life makes every day, every week, special. Thank You!