The news over the past week seems to be an endless cascade of chaos. A civilian airliner shot down over the Ukraine. Another airliner crashing in Africa. Fighting between Israel and Hamas, that, while not labeled as such, shows all the characteristics of war.
Syria. Iraq. The girls in Nigeria still being held as captives. The largest known outbreak of Ebola, an incurable disease.
Closer to home there is the crisis at the southern US border. Reports of children forgotten in cars, cars parked in the heat of summer. People being shot. Some randomly and some not.
I imagine that in virtually every community there are hard and painful things that have happened recently. Unplanned, unexpected things, things that have torn people apart. People being forced to live in pain that they couldn't plan for. That they couldn't imagine.
As I was reading of some of these things today, and pondering the ways in which our community and the congregation I serve was being affected, I found myself reading the last words of Jesus recorded in the Bible, Revelation 22:20, where Jesus says this:
"Surely I am coming soon."
Jesus speaks these words as He concludes the Revelation that He gave to John the Evangelist. It is a revelation that includes wonderful pictures of what eternity will look like for those who are God's own, when sin and the enemies of God are completely defeated, as well as the eternal destiny of those who will remain as God's enemies.
Nearly two thousand years after Jesus spoke those words we who have placed our faith in Him are still waiting. From our vantage point two thousand years hardly seems to be "soon," especially in the chaos that seems to be all around us.
But from the One who created time itself, two thousand years has an entirely different look. He has His reasons, and I trust that they are very good ones. I have no doubts that He will return, in power and glory, in His timing. And so, in the chaos of today, I include in my prayers the words that John prayed in response to Jesus:
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
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.