This old adage, “Red sky in morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor’s delight,” is a tale as old as time. Jesus, Himself, referred to this when the keepers of the law asked for a sign from Heaven. Look at His full response.
He told them, “You have a saying that goes, ‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ You find it easy enough to forecast the weather – why can’t you read the signs of the times?
Matthew 16:1-3 MSG
At first glance this looks like an odd comparison supporting the claims of many that Jesus spoke in impossible parables. Take a moment to look for the common thread between weather and the signs of the times. It’s part of everyday life, we can’t escape it, but we can ignore it and choose not to see it.
Change has happened. Not quite like the “thief in the night”, and not “all of a sudden”, for we were aware but didn’t listen. We felt the change in the air but discarded those who expressed such discernment as an “Old Testament Prophetic”, the kind that is not welcomed and heard but avoided.
Just Going To Church
Remember when we would “go” to church on Sunday. Those were the days, weren’t they? The struggle to rush out the door in time to shake a few hands, hug a few friends, give a few bucks, sing a few songs, and nod a few times as the Pastor presented his interpretation of the Scriptures.
Going to church was what we did on Sunday. It was how we answered those who asked at the Starbucks drive-thru, “what are you up to today?”
“Oh, nothing much. Just going to church.”
“Just going to church,” was all I had to say to my parents on Sunday morning. To them it was their cue to avoid all conversation with me for the rest of the day as though being a Christian was only for that day.
If we are honest, brutally honest with ourselves, how many have fallen into a similar mindset? We went to church on Sunday, checked off our name for roll call and then the rest of the week was busy with living unchanged, unchecked, unchallenged?
What happens when God scatters His church? Where do you go to check in now?
The physical church building was a place many gathered and now seven weeks into this physical distancing mandate, the church has been deemed an unessential service. Not surprised as I look around and see that my local church has laid off a third of their staff in order to protect the funds raised to build bigger buildings. The message is clear – developing property takes priority over the spiritual development of the people.
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. Look! I am doing a new thing! Can you not see it?
Proverbs 29:18 & Isaiah 43:19
From Going to Be
Prior to Jesus Christ, a priest served a vital role in society. Priests were chosen by God to represent the people, a position of privilege, a position of honor, a position that held great responsibility, definitely an essential service to the tribes of the nation.
Once Jesus completed His purpose through His ministry, death, resurrection, and giving us Holy Spirit, the winds of change blew, and the position of a priest was modified. Believers (then and now) have been given direct access to the throne of God and no longer require a mediator.
Since that incredible time in history the church has grown. It outgrew the home and moved into larger spaces we recognize as the church. Today we get to be part of this transition as God moves His people out of the church building and into the wide-open spaces of the nation. He is moving us from “going to church” to “being the church”.
“As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by man but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood…”
1 Peter 2:4-5
We got used to going to a building and called it “church”. We learned how to “do” church and took for granted that it was always going to be there. Now we have this golden opportunity to join God in this new thing He is doing. We get to learn how to BE the church!
Watch the skies as the signs of the times are revealed. It’s time to “BE”! It’s time to rise and take up the position created for you. You are a part of the Royal Priesthood of Believers, chosen by God, precious to Him and most definitely essential to the nation.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward loved and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another – and all the more as you the Day approaching.”