Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did you hear the one about the 3,000 black birds that fell out of the sky?

I know it sounds like a joke. But it really happened—on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas. Not only is it creepy, it has apocalyptic overtones. Over 3,000 black birds fell to the earth—dead—and no one yet knows why. The news media reported that people were so shook up they stopped their celebrating, sobered up, and called the police. They said it sounded like bombs hitting the roof. I’m sure it was a wake-up call for someone.

Horrifying tornadoes blew through the mid-west on New Year’s Eve, obliterating houses, killing seven. One farmer was kept from certain death by hiding under his tractor. He said “I am not religious but I guess someone was watching out for me.” When I heard that, I prayed it would be his wake-up call.

“Wake up and smell the coffee” means to pay attention and do something about a situation. One of the most important words in the Bible is the word ‘hear.’ It means to “pay attention”—to “obey.” All the prophets continually chided the people of Israel and Judah for not paying attention to God. I don’t know if the weird weather or strange happenings are some apocalyptic sign. But I do know they ought to get our attention. Jesus said, “keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man… keep alert, for you do not know when the appointed time will come”
(Luke 21:36; Mark 13:33). Does someone need to wake up and smell the coffee?

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