"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars." Luke 21:25
On May 10, 1994, people in mid-America, for the first time in 200 years, saw a complete eclipse of the sun over the noon hour. They experienced an eerie feeling as they saw the sun darkened. The mountains on the moon appeared as notches at the edge of the moon as it passed across the sun. In ancient times some people believed that a large giant had bitten a piece out of the sun. Nowadays astronomers can predict when eclipses will appear.
Although eclipses are natural phenomena, they nevertheless are signs with a message to Christians. Jesus said, in this respect: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars” (Luke 21:25). These signs, even when they result from natural causes, remind us of the coming of the Son of Man on Judgment Day. Then “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light: the stars will fall from the sky” (Mark 13:24-25). These future events mark the end of the world as we know it, ushering in, according to Saint Peter’s words, “a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness”: (2 Peter 3:13). The apostle prefaces this saying by reminding us that we look forward to this great change as God’s fulfillment of His promise. That promise pertains to our reception in the Father’s heavenly home of many rooms which Jesus prepared for us.
Eclipses of sun and moon, as well as the other signs of Christ’s second advent—the sea roaring under the lashing of hurricanes, the land convulsed by earthquakes, the increasing distress of nations, the coming of false christs and false prophets—are not to terrify us. We are at peace, knowing that God is in control of His universe and that the gates of His kingdom of glory are always open to us. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, of which Jesus Christ is the solid cornerstone. Sun and moon, heaven and earth, will eventually pass away, but the word and redeeming work of our Savior abide forever. In His hands we are safe.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, give me the wisdom to rightly discern the signs of the time and help me to always be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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