15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ,
and he will rule forever and always.”
16 Then the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God. 17 They said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and was,
for you have taken your great power and enforced your rule.
18 The nations were enraged, but your wrath came.
The time came for the dead to be judged.
The time came to reward your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name, both small and great,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the chest containing his covenant appeared in his temple. There were lightning, voices, thunder, an earthquake, and large hail.
I don’t know about you, but I have always steered away from “End of Days” writings. I have always struggled with Revelation, and I have never gotten into reading or watching things like the Left Behind series. I guess it is because we really don’t know when it is going to be, and I have a difficult time with the language of Revelation. Obviously there have been signs throughout the generations – wars, plagues, earthquakes, floods, etc. – that people have pointed to that may predict that the end is near. As time passes, it is inevitable that the end times are closer, but as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “the day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night.” So we really have no idea when it will happen.
The parts of this scripture that struck me first when I read it were v15b, “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will rule forever and always,” and then v18, “Those who destroy the earth will be destroyed.” It will be difficult to have a kingdom of the Lord on the earth if we destroy the earth itself.
In the last few days there has been more and more information about the critical temperature that we are moving toward with the climate crisis. The crisis seems almost insurmountable at this time, but science continues to tell us that we can make a difference if we make changes. The scripture also tells us that we can make a difference in both our physical world and in our spiritual world. It says those who fear God’s name will be rewarded, whether we are great or small. In the scope of the whole earth and all the natural wonders and disasters, we can feel very small, but if we try to do our best to help our earth and those on it, we will be rewarded for our actions and those who come after us will be able to share in the beauty of God’s kingdom here on earth.
Lent is a good time to assess so many aspects of our lives and what we are doing to further God’s kingdom, so why not add what we are doing to the earth itself to that process?
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
As we continue through our Lenten journey, what small things can we do to help with climate change and to protect the natural world around us?
Prayer: We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, for this earth and all its natural beauty. May your kingdom be on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.
Our Lenten Series
For our Lent series this year, we’ll be using the Adam Hamilton book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws. At his website, you can find a 40-day reading plan to help you read through the Gospel of Luke during Lent. And join us for worship, in-person or online, at 9:00 & 10:30 every Sunday.
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