First Quake

There is a First Time for Everything

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was impressed when I called him last week. I experienced something that Ed has never run up against – an earthquake! Ed’ s immediate response was, “There’s a first time for everything.”

Thankfully, I underwent being jolted and shocked by a small earthquake (magnitude 4.3) rather than a serious one. The small earthquake left me wondering what in the world had just happened. It was nearing midnight on Tuesday evening when it felt and sounded like something hit the apartment above ours. I was sitting at my desk typing a sermon, and the wall and window before me shook and trembled so that I wondered what crashed loudly in the apartment above that would shake my wall below. Other people knew that it was an earthquake that could be the start of a larger quake or the coming of significant aftershocks. I was clueless about what had happened until the next day when I learned it was an earthquake the night before.

Thankfully, there were no reports of damage from the small earthquake that rattled homes across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Authorities here have urged us to treat this minor earthquake event as a wake-up call to get ready for more serious quakes in the future. I suggested that we should prepare an emergency kit for our home and car. The kits are to contain enough food, water, medicine and other necessities to survive 72 hours in the aftermath of a disaster like a deadly earthquake. My wife sees a problem with having survival kits ready. “You will get into them, eat the food that is not in cans and drink the bottled water, so that when we need to use them, they will be depleted. She made it sound like I cannot be trusted to leave things alone. She slept through the earthquake and felt I’m over reacting.

Should we act, now, to be ready for an emergency to come? If it is a good idea, will it lead to preparing an emergency kit? Because we see something as a good idea, does not necessarily lead us to put a good idea into action. Many of us think it is a good idea to save money regularly, but that doesn’t always result in the saving of our money. Good ideas are worthless if we do not follow up on them and carry them out.

When Jesus was alive on earth, he showed that the good idea of God’ s love for sinners must become actions. Jesus acted to fulfill God’s laws perfectly because we cannot be perfect. Jesus delivered himself, over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification on the third day. “He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.”

The Bible states, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; He will appear a second time, … to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Who of us is preparing now for his coming?

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Raymond Maher
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