Passing Away (07-12-22)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 92:1-2
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
Bible Reading: Matthew 24:35-39
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but only the Father.
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
‘Tāne Mahuta’ is the Māori name given to the largest living giant Kauri tree in New Zealand, standing at around 150 high and with a girth of over 50 feet. ‘Tāne Mahuta’ could well be over 2,000 years old and may well have been growing at the time Jesus was born. It is humbling to think of humans, in all our strength and power, being outlived by a factor of 25 or more by a tree.
Whilst ‘Tāne Mahuta’ is now protected, it is estimated that half the world’s tropical rainforests have been destroyed in the last 100 years and at today’s rate the rest will disappear over the next 100 years. This will have serious consequences for climate change as rainforests store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, release oxygen and water vapour into the atmosphere and provide habitat for an enormous amount of biodiversity.
With the very existence of the earth being threatened by climate change, nuclear war, pandemic and pollution, it is perhaps not difficult to believe Jesus words ‘Heaven and earth will pass away.’ Even ‘Tāne Mahuta’ is under threat.
In a world of relative transience we have one thing that remains secure: The Word of God, Jesus tells us, will never pass away. Some argue that the bible is outdated, yet when we read it, it speaks afresh into our lives each day with eternal truths. The Word of God will continue to speak through the centuries while human beings and human endeavours will come and go like the tides of the sea.
Jesus tells us that the earth and skies as we know them will come to an end. They will be replaced by a new heaven and a new earth at his second coming. When will this happen, no-one knows, not even Jesus knows. Only the Father knows.
But the Father does know, and Jesus will return when the time is right. In the meantime, let us be like Noah, living faithfully in God's world, warning people of the coming flood, in the assurance of salvation, not in an ark, but in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, give us the wisdom and the grace to live in your world faithfully and sustainably until you come again.
Great is the darkness