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October 25, 2023

There’s no denying “the elephant in the room”- the turmoil in the Middle East. It’s troubling, polarizing, and painful. For our family it’s personal because Jerusalem is our hometown. We lived there for seven years, planted King of Kings Church in the heart of the city, raised our children and thrived in its history, culture, and friendship. Indeed our family history will be forever impacted by the “Holy City”.

In my sermons I would occasionally refer to what is called “the second coming” of Christ. This topic had immediate relevance for us because the sites of the crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension were all within a mile of our church. It made the “Parousia” (as theologians call it) as near as the Holy Sepulchre.

Matthew 24 was always in the mix when we talked about Jesus’ return. In that chapter he warned about “wars and rumors of wars… nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom…famines and earthquakes in various places…the increase of lawlessness” as “the love of many will grow cold”. But Jesus said all this would be “the beginning of birth pains”. We should not panic.  There will be more to come including the communication of “the good news of the kingdom throughout the world”. In other words the Lord will continue building his church even as the world descends into geopolitical, environmental, and spiritual chaos. There is hope.

Let’s not forget that nothing surprises our Father in heaven. He is omniscient. He is also provident with resolution and closure to our crises. And He is sovereign. He has not taken his hands off the wheel. It’s a mystery to us but his plan is in place.