"Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone what is to come?" Do you know where those words come from? If you do, I will be surprised. They actually come from the book of Ecclesiastes in our Bible. If folks know any passages from the book of Ecclesiastes, it is usually the words that found their way into a song written by Pete Seeger and made popular by the 60s musical group The Byrds. They song lyrics were almost verbatim from Ecclesiastes 3: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die . . ." It is interesting that in both of these passages from Ecclesiastes, there is something about time. One talks about "the future." The other talks about there being a time for everything.
This week I am working on another message in our series called "The Newspaper and the Bible." Sunday I will be talking about "The Future." How do you think about the future? Do you look at it with hope or with fear? (Maybe even a combination of the two.) How should we think about the future? In the past few weeks there have been some very disturbing events reported in our news - the destruction in Baltimore, the earthquake in Nepal, the death of five young coeds - at least two of whom have connections with members of JCPC. Those kinds of events may lead us to become anxious and worry about the future.
Jesus never speaks about "the future." But when it comes to concern about "tomorrow" - Jesus tells us "Do not worry about tomorrow." (Matthew 6:34a, NIV) That is easier said than done. Is worry just something we can switch off at will? Is it just burying our heads in the sand when there is danger approaching on the horizon? I don't think that is what Jesus is saying here. If you ever worry about the future, I invite you to join us Sunday as we take a closer look at how we might face the future with faith and not fear.
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, it is hard to watch the news these days and not feel some anxiety. We care for those who are in danger. We wonder if this may spread to our part of the world. Give us the faith we need to trust you. Help us remember that your love for us is constant -- and that you are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.