Friday, May 20, 2011

ending well

Hi friends,
I'm not sending this email out early because I'm worried about the end of the world. I'm not at all concerned that the rapture or judgment day will happen tomorrow. There are two reasons I'm not worried: first, because God loves us so much that God's judgment doesn't scare me. Second: I don't really think anything special is going to happen tomorrow. Jesus told us the end would come suddenly and that no one (not even Jesus) knows when that will happen.

Still, speculation about the end of the world is always a good opportunity to reflect, after all any day could be our last. If there's something on your conscience you want to confess, now's as good a time as any. If you need to make peace with someone you've been in conflict with, why wait? If you want to tell someone you love them, do it. Any day could be our last, so live each day in such a way that you can close your eyes at night with no regrets. God loves us, so we've got nothing to worry about.

As far as our reading goes, Stephen is almost at the end of his final speech. He reminds his hearers that Israel hasn't always been faithful and that, while God loves the sanctuary, he doesn't need it. The whole world belongs to God, so any place is a good place to worship.

Blessings on your weekend,

Acts 7:42-50

42But God turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43No; you took along the tent of Moloch, and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; so I will remove you beyond Babylon.’

44“Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, 46who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. 47But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says, 49‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50Did not my hand make all these things?’

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