A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dave's Deep Thoughts - The Best Season of All

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

Ok, go ahead and rain on my parade……
but don’t you dare snow on my ski trip!

I know I am going to sound like an old codger BUT here it goes………
When I was young,

We regularly could expect snow in December,
and white Christmases weren’t unusual.

Big snowstorms would routinely hit throughout January and February,
and we would build tunnels through the mammoth mountains of snow.

We couldn’t see that the cars in the driveway were covered by snow drifts,
because we couldn’t see out of our windows.

We actually had ice skates because we actually had ponds that froze over.
Hockey games lasted until dark and our parents didn’t worry where we were.

We shoveled snow for hours because who had a snow blower?
And snow laid on the ground for weeks and months, not days.

A five inch snowfall was routine,
certainly not worthy enough to occupy 50% of the evening newscast.

Three inches of lunchtime snow wouldn’t even raise the thought of early school dismissal,
and we never went on a panic run to the grocery store 
because somehow, we thought to buy bread, milk, eggs, and toilet paper on a regular basis.

Winters now-a-days?
I have found myself weeding during the Christmas season.
I have watched plants bursting through the earth in February.
I have used my fall jacket more than I have used my winter jacket.
I, a lover of snow, have found myself waiting for the first snowfall of the season, after Valentine’s Day.

My snow blower has been rusting out, not wearing out,
and my new ski boots are still new now into March.

I have been warned that an ice shelf the size of Rhode Island
is breaking off from Antarctica and that 
buying oceanfront property in Florida
in the near future, might not be the greatest idea.

I canceled a local trip with some buddies
because it was 75 degrees  on February 24th.

And so we reached the 1st day of spring.
What happened?

We received the 1st significant snowfall of the season.

People, stood in lines at Rita’s to receive their free Italian Ice,
shivering in their boots because it was so raw.

My buddies flight out west to ski REAL mountains
was delayed two days……because of snow.

I remember when the seasons used to be the seasons.
I could expect certain things at certain times.

Not anymore.
It’s possible I might be wearing shorts at Thanksgiving.
Memorial Day might be too chilly to swim.
Snow on Easter morning?
I’ve seen it.

The seasons aren’t what they used to be.
That is, except for the spiritual season that Jesus says we are in,
which is, the last days.

Some people think the last days are the days just before Jesus’s return.
And while those will be last days,
we have been living in the last days since the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Revelation Chapter 12 speaks of Christ defeating Satan,
and throwing him and his demons out of heaven and onto earth.

And although Christ has triumphed,
the season of last days will be difficult.
Here is a taste of what happens  as Satan has one last season of roaming the earth:

Nations rising against nations    (Matthew 24:7)
Earthquakes of great proportion   (Luke  21:11)
Pestilences that will plague mankind  (Luke 21:11)
A marked change in human society  (II Timothy 3:1-5) most notably…..
lovers of themselves
lovers of money
disobedient to parents
having no natural affection
without self-control
lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God
having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power

Look familiar?
One viewing of the evening news on any given day pretty much confirms 
Jesus’s description of this season known as the last days.

Some seasons are more dependable than others.
But this season, though difficult, is not without the good news.

James tells us to ”draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Jesus has promised never to leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5b)
If you are feeling discouraged, or anxious,
or even defeated by these last days,
God has the good Word which is the final Word,

Behold, I am making ALL THINGS new.”   (Revelations 21:5)
It didn’t take long for this promise to start taking affect after the tomb was sealed.

Mary and Mary experienced it.
Peter and the disciples attested to it
Paul was converted into it.
The earth was reclaimed by it.
And unless you aren’t a part of ALL THINGS,
you are given the good Word in this season.

And that season is assured,
unlike the physical seasons we are experiencing now.

So if it won’t snow in the winter,
I’ll just go to the beach in the summer,
where I will be high tided by the incoming ice shelf.

Yup, these are good days indeed.

And He who sits on the throne said,
“Behold I am making all things new.” And He said,
“Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
                                                                Revelations 21:5

No comments: