This week I made an overnight trip to Denver for work. I drove up on Monday afternoon, took care of some business for the church Tuesday morning and then came home in the afternoon. I worked in a few errands along the way and logged about 700 miles round trip.
We have two basic choices when driving to Denver, with each option taking us through some beautiful country. Either route takes us from the San Juan mountains, through the Sangre de Cristo mountains and ends along the Front Range. I took the same route both ways and the major natural landmarks of my trip were Archuleta Mesa, the Cumbres and La Manga passes, Blanca Peak, La Veta pass, Spanish Peaks and Pike's Peak.
I can easily drive for hours in the relative quiet of the car but on the way to Denver I decided to listen to the radio. Find a station and listen for a while. When reception gets bad then hunt for another one. That randomness made for an interesting listening experience.
For a while I listened to a talk show that had a particular perspective on current American politics. When that show ended I decided to look for something different, stumbling upon another talk show, from the other side. Somewhat curiously, both the show aligned with the party in political power and the show from the other side seemed to agree on one key, but unspoken point: THE SKY IS FALLING!
And yet, while driving through the mountains and plains for nearly six hours, the sky seemed just as beautiful and fixed as ever, as did the mountains and plains.
I changed radio stations again and soon heard, what was to my ears, something that was instantly recognizable. One of those songs that indentifies itself unmistakably within the first two notes. In this case it was "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. I'm not a huge Pink Floyd fan but the song came out just three months after I graduated from high school, nearly 42 years ago, and I did listen to them quite a bit back in those days.
Forty-two years, or seven US presidents ago, when Gerald Ford held that office. Since then there have certainly been many domestic and international crises, and many genuine tragedies, but at no time was there anything that was truly cataclysmic within our borders. How unexpected that a Pink Floyd song would serve as a marker of how little things have changed, despite all panicked claims to the contrary.
This week I am preaching from Mark 15:33-47, which includes what I would hold to be one half of the single most important moment in world history, the death-and-resurrection of Jesus. Verse 37 says:
"And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last."
A day is certainly coming when for some people it may appear as if the sky is literally falling. That day will mark the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in power and glory. Those of us who know and love him will welcome his return, and those who don’t know him will have quite a different reaction.
As Christians let us be people who live in these days and respond to the issues of our time in ways that serve Jesus well, whether our responses are social, political, cultural or theological. Let us be people who understand the difference between time and eternity, and may our responses ultimately help others to come to love Jesus in time, so that they can enjoy him for eternity.
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.