a time of signs

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him
to show them a sign from heaven.

Matthew 16:1

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,
and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:9-14


Today I found myself once again on the interstate, a place that I am more times then not…
As the sun was headed toward the west, I was finally heading home form Dad’s…
who by the way is hanging on and still in the game….but just barely….
Merging onto the interstate, it suddenly dawns on me that the ratio of big rigs to cars
was not in the favor of the cars.

Some days are like that as I suppose as there are certain days that are considered
more or less “travel days” for those transporters of all things commerce.

Those “travel days” tend to make me a bit more nervous as I don’t especially enjoy
barreling down the interstate sandwiched in-between 5 lanes of tractor trailer
trucks and little ol me….

Focusing on keeping up with the flow while my mind drifts back and forth over to Dad
and to the things I need to be taking care of for them, my eyes and mind begin to focus
on the truck in front of me…
“The World’s most award winning Tequila”

Hummmm…I think I’ve had it in a margarita once….

Changing lanes, as I was working my way over to merge onto the next interstate, I
found myself behind another truck boasting the “2013 Award Winning Whiskey Bourbon, Roses”

Hummmm…I’d never heard of it before…yet found myself wondering if it hails
from Kentucky or Tennessee as only Kentucky whiskeys may be labeled bourbon…

As I exit onto the entrance ramp to the next interstate, I’m precariously passed by
a massive Little Debbie’s truck….

Hummmmm…Now I begin wondering if someone isn’t trying to tell me something…
as in…am I suppose to be heading to the nearest bar or to grab some
not so healthy snack cakes….???

Signs were all over the place it seems…
vying for me to remember, to consider, to seek, to find…????

So as I was finally on the home stretch of highway, eventually taking me home,
the whole notion of signs and their meaning flooded my mind,
shadowed by the significant and current visit taking place in Washington of Israel’s
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu….

I ruminated over the importance of the renewed support offered by our
new administration to Israel…
and to what that now may means for a nation who returns her support to the chosen
of God….

As some would flippantly quip that it means nothing,
while others would bemoan it just means more trouble,
while still others see great significance being found in this renewed support.

I have always believed in the importance of the United State and her relationship with
the Jewish state…

Yesterday we heard in his greeting to President Trump,
along with those gathered in the East Room,
Prime Minister Netanyahu offering an explanation as to why Jews are called Jews.

“Well, the Chinese are called Chinese because they come from China.
The Japanese are called Japanese because they come from Japan.
Well, Jews are called Jews because they come from Judea.
This is our ancestral homeland.
Jews are not foreign colonialists in Judea.”

The age long quest for the acknowledgement of existence.

Yet that acknowledgement continues being met with resistance…

The Middle East is a vast and formidable land..
It has always been shrouded in mystery, hostility, and suspicion.
With the seeming epicenter to be found in the obscure city of Jerusalem…

A city that is the knot in the bow tying and binding the three
greatest monotheistic religions together…
whether they like it or not…bound they are.
Yet it is a city that has been fractured and divided since its very formation…

The hostilities between Jews and Muslims is age old, dating back most notably to
the time of Abraham.
The Christians are really the upstarts in the mix, having entered the fray 2000
years ago.

So say what you will…
be it coincidence, myth, lore, legend, history, the Divine…or a combination of
each component…
The land of Judea is for the chosen of God…and peace will come…but…..

The prophet Zechariah reminds us with his words:
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples,
when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all
peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces,
though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

It seems that conflict will always be found in this epicenter…
only until such time comes that there is a final
collision between both Light and Darkness….

In Psalm 37 we hear David proclaiming that “the meek shall inherit the earth,
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”
(Psalm 37:11).
And in Leviticus we are told, “I will give peace in the land, and you shall
lie down, and none will make you afraid”
(Leviticus 26:6)

We are reminded, told, and shown that there will indeed be a day of peace in
this land that has only known dispute, war, hatred and suspicion.

So until that day of peace and reconciliation is upon us…
It may behoove each of us to consider the signs we are offered as we
look, wonder and wait…..

With Christ—“the Prince of Peace”—ruling the earth,
“there will be no end” to the peace that will envelop our planet (Isaiah 9:6-7).
As Isaiah hopefully noted,
“LORD, You will establish peace for us” (Isaiah 26:12).
And as each individual obeys God, he or she will enjoy peace.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You” (verse 3).

(Life Hope & Truth)

14 comments on “a time of signs

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    I was lifted up by this meeting between Trump and Netanyahu. I pray that this is the beginning of repair between our two countries. It seems, as you say, that the Jews have always battled for their City and their right to practice their religion. Even though Jerusalem is the only democracy in the Middle East, there will always be turmoil because of the differences in religions. I think God gives true peace only in our hearts and minds. These wars will never end until the end of time, but the peace of God will live forever.

    Maybe Trump and Netanyahu sat down to a breakfast of Lil Debbie Cakes, a smooth Manhattan and a Margarita yesterday morning and everything looked a lot better. Let’s hope this is the beginning of healed relations with our allies.

  2. Julie, great post. Love to see your support of God’s people. I think you misspoke when you said: “The hostilities between Jews and Muslims is age old, dating back most notably to
    the time of Abraham.” The Muslim religion is actually younger than Christianity. It was the descendants of Jacob (Jews) and Ishmael (Arabs) who have feuded since Abraham.

    • Yes Don I said that as I know it was / is to the descendants– those born from Abraham, both Jacob and Ishmael, to which we can trace much of the current day turmoil and that Mohammad didn’t come on to the scene until roughly 600 years following Jesus and his earthly ministry –so I’ve always looked back to Abraham being the pivotal lynchpin as it were — so not so much mis-speaking but rather more of a generalization

    • and I should add to that generalization of mine Don… that you know I’m not the scholar as you or others when it comes to Biblical history—being raised in the Episcopal church , we weren’t steeped in Biblical teachings as our kinfolk across the street at the Baptist church were…which I might add Mother use to threaten to send us to for Sunday School so we might learn a thing or two 🙂
      And whereas I had a working knowledge of Israel in the mid 70’s when I was in school having studied the Middle East in our social study courses—it really wasn’t until I was an Art Education major finding myself immersed in Art History classes that I came to understand the true nuance of history and lineage of our faiths—it was by the study of the bronze doors on the Baptistry there in Florence, the doors by Ghiberti and of the contest held for what would eventually grace those doors, that I was so moved by Ghiberti’s presentation of the moment Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac that my interest in that moment was piqued—I wanted to know and understand more—so it wasn’t until then that I found in that moment… much of the mess we have today with Middle Eastern conflict, originally resting…
      So whereas I lack so much in the way of in-depth knowledge as to the exact nuances…I know the foundation…and in Abraham I find that humankind has always had such a difficult time with trusting the Divine—and that it wasn’t until God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac… that finally he was willing to totally surrender to God his most precious earthly treasure, his son… that in that very moment of surrender we actually glimpse the promise of redemption and eventual Salvation…
      all in my general nutshell 🙂

  3. Julie, this was truly heart-warming to this old soul. Thank you.

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    I don’t think Jerusalem will have peace in this side of eternity; mind you I’m not wishing for it, but rather desire peace for Jerusalem. But what a thought it is to think one day the meek will inherit the new heaven and new earth and a New Jerusalem will be established.

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