August 18, 2019: The Signs of the Times

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

“Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” Being a pastor in farming communities the past nine years has helped me be more aware of the weather. When I was younger, I never wanted much rain, because then the grass would grow faster, and I’d have to mow more often, or outdoor activities would be canceled. I hated it when baseball games were rained out. Now I’m more aware of the need for rain to help the crops grow, and I’ve learned how to interpret weather patterns by looking at the skies.

There are signs out there as well that point to the coming of God’s kingdom. All we have to do is look at all the immorality in the world. Society has, by and large, turned its back on God’s commands —and, sadly, so has the church, for the church has embraced some of society’s iniquities. The signs are plain. They are just ignored by the world.

The signs have already caused the divisions that Jesus speaks of in Luke 12:52 and 53. Families are divided—natural families and church families. There are divisions caused by politics, economics, and religious practices. There is only one solution: Jesus. There needs to be true repentance, the turning from our sinful ways, and following Jesus as the only way. There is no middle ground when it comes to following Jesus. He demands our devotion and our commitment, even if it means other relationships, even family relationships, are cut off. Are you willing to risk the disapproval of your family, even your church family, so that you can follow Jesus?

Reid Lauderman, pastor, West Salem Moravian Church
West Salem, Illinois