We live in a very interesting day. As I was in the car listening to the news I never expected to see the day when top executives from the "Big Three" car makers would fly in their corporate jets to Washington with their hats in hand to ask for a financial bailout to keep them afloat. How the mighty have fallen, and how the best intentioned systems of men cannot save the world from trouble. The truth is that no one knows where this present "restructuring" will take us and time alone will reveal the extent of the long term repercussions.
Interestingly enough I just happen to be working my way through Matthew's gospel at TBS. And as the semester is drawing to a close and we approach the end of this important New Testament book, we will come to Matthew 24 which is known as the Olivet Discourse (and, no, that has nothing to do with Ollie North!). It is a chapter in which Jesus gives his disciples a sketch of what will happen between his first and second advents. Without going into detail, it is worth noting that one of the characteristics of the "Gospel Age" is political and economic instability. Not only will there be false teachers and false reconstructions of reality, but there will wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, earthquakes... and, according to Jesus, these are just the beginning of birth pains.
Seen in this light, what is going on around us is not a surprise. These troubles are the convulsions of an earth whose true Lord is reigning at God's right hand and who will return at the appointed time to bring life as we know it on earth to a conclusion. While we should take an interest in what is going on around us, we should not allow it to distract us from the need to be ready, watchful and busy doing what the Lord has given us to do. I know that there have been some notoriously bad readings of scripture by those who hold the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other, but there is still something to be said for this approach provided we remember that the Bible, and not the newspaper, is inspired by God. These are interesting days indeed, but the best is yet to come.