Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Certainty in an uncertain world

Today I was looking at something online and I saw a mention of the Paul Simon song American Tune.  It’s a song from a ways back, one which I am fairly certain I hadn’t heard in a long time, but I knew that the melody and fragments of the lyrics were embedded in my memory. 

So, living in the time that we do, I found the song on YouTube and had a listen.  The oldest version was from 1974, which reminded me that it was on the album he released that year, an album I acquired when it was issued, when I was a senior in high school.

I listened to the song once today and fragments of it have replayed through my mind since.  Of these fragments, one line stands out:

“We come at the age’s most uncertain hour”

And that brought to mind how quickly our circumstances, or our view of life as we live in a particular moment, can shift from certainty to uncertainty. 

I am not an astute enough student of poetry to understand what, if anything, Simon may have been singing about in particular.  In 1974 our country was still entangled in Viet Nam.  The Nixon administration was unraveling.  Quite likely there were other things were going on in the world that could evoke feelings of uncertainty as well.

I think that every “age” has its uncertainties.  The news today is full of things that have unknown implications for the future.  The presidential election is an obvious one.  Another is today’s report of a significant melting of the ice sheet in Greenland.   The recent tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, where in an instant the relative certainty of an evening at the movies changed, permanently affecting the lives of everyone present in the theater.

Despite the things that may occur that bring uncertainty into our lives there are some things that never change, things that we may count on no matter what our circumstances are or what the world is telling us.  These are the promises of God, spoken through the Bible.  I’m studying one of them today in preparation for a sermon in two weeks.  In John 6:40 Jesus says:

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

This promise of God, spoken through Jesus, is that those who have faith in him also have eternal security with God.  It is a security that transcends each and every uncertainty of our lives.  It is a security that transcends time.  No matter what happened yesterday, what happens today, or what will happen tomorrow, the Christian can be assured that God’s grasp on them is firm.  It is the certain thing that will endure every uncertainty.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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