“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
In recent weeks, our headlines have been dominated by the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. The atrocities of Hamas as well as Israel’s brutal retaliation have deeply shocked us and polarized our world. As the conflict threatens to boil over, the world finds itself in a worrying and fragile position. Closer to home, and in a multi-religious country like Singapore, our fears are heightened as minister Shanmugam urged Singaporeans to cherish and preserve the religious harmony in Singapore. It's scary indeed. The peace and harmony that we’ve always enjoyed cannot be taken for granted anymore.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to take it all in at times. It’s been one bad news after another and tragedies after tragedies. In fact, if we were to listen carefully, we can hear a collectively sigh of sadness and pain in our world today - just as we emerge from COVID19 and look towards a brighter future, the Ukraine war dealt another blow to us. Furthermore, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and wildfires wreaked havoc in many parts the world; and just when we think things can’t get any worse, war breaks out in the Middle East. ‘When will it all end?’ we wonder. We feel exasperated, frustrated, bewildered and sad.
As Christians, the scale of destruction and loss of lives ought to move and sadden us. We ought to pray for relief and peace. Yet, at the same time, we must be not be surprised at what is happening in our world. Scripture speaks clearly about the shaking and chaos that will intensify in the last days. Although frightening, we ought to be filled with hope because these are also signs that Jesus’ second coming is drawing nearer. Jesus himself said, ‘now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
So, my friends, let us not lose heart because we know that Jesus is coming back soon to make all things new and right. Let us pray and reach out to unsaved family and friends with greater urgency. Let us also relook our priorities in life and make our lives count for Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, may we shine and live as people of hope in our chaotic world.