Seeking what really matters.
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“…When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’….”
Matthew 16:2, New International Version
There is nothing new about wishing for a sign, some help or indication, about what is going on or what decision to make. The Pharisees and Sadducees tested Jesus by asking for a sign from heaven. The word ‘tested’, in verse 1 of Matthew 16, is the same word used of Satan in the testing of Jesus, in Matthew 4.
I’m not suggesting it’s satanic to desire a sign. It’s human enough. However, when used to test the Lord one crosses a line. Jesus said, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times,” (verse 3).
In our day, like so many days, the red evening sky can bring more than just wonder and praise at the glory of God’s creation. It can remind us that such a sign in the sky, like the rainbow, surrounds us with the greater sign of God’s glory, the sign of the empty cross and the empty tomb. The sign of Jonah has been fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus.
We pursue the ‘work’ of the Lord, loving and serving God while loving and serving one another. We’ll leave the seeking of signs for others. The sign they need is the people of God in their midst, loving and serving God while loving and serving them!
I remember an old ‘BC’ comic strip. In the first three frames, BC stands at a cliff-top shouting to the heavens, “Give me a sign.” In the fourth frame, he is flat on the ground with a large stop sign on his back! Sometimes it even takes visual exaggeration to make the point.
Enjoy the red sunset when you see it. Revel in the glory of God’s creation. Let it all be a sign for you that God remembers you in the person of His Son. You are God’s own child. You are the best sign of his loving presence, in your corner of the world today.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO