The end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it is a concept we’ve probably known since Noah survived the Flood. Having witnessed the end of the world as he knew it, it wouldn’t surprise him to see it happen again. After all, it’s easier to believe something so horrible happening a second time than to imagine it ever happening for the first time. That day, the Last Day of all last days, is coming. Jesus talked about it (Luke 17:26-30) and so did the Apostle Paul.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
It’s Passion Week on the Church calendar and a time we remember what Jesus did so that we would not be “appointed to suffer wrath [in that Last Day] but to receive salvation” through the Son of God. The world was bad. So Jesus came. The world was still bad when the Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians enduring persecution. The world has gone from bad to worse now, but children of the Light, children of the Day do not need to be afraid. After the Cross, there is victory!
Fun Fact of Light: Solar Flares. According to SpaceAnswers.com, The Sun has reached its solar maximum where its surface should be peppered with sunspots and erupting with solar flares and coronal mass ejections but, according to spacecraft, our star hasn’t been this inactive since 100 years ago. It has released the odd solar flare, however, and you can learn more about them here:
- The fastest ejections reach Earth in less than two days. Solar flares are sometimes accompanied by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), huge outpourings of energy and material that travel at up to 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) per second.
- They release ten million times more energy than a volcano. A volcanic eruption pales in comparison to a solar flare. In a matter of minutes a solar flare, thought to be caused by magnetic fields, can eject billions of tons of charged particles.
- During peak times there are over 20 solar flares a day. When the Sun is at solar maximum, the period in its 11-year cycle when its activity is at its highest, the Sun can unleash over 100 solar flares every week.
- They are almost as hot as the core of the Sun. A solar flare can have a temperature of several million Kelvin. For comparison the hottest natural temperature ever recorded on Earth was a relatively measly 330 Kelvin in Death Valley, California.
- A solar eruption once knocked out a power grid in Quebec. In March 1989 a huge CME, one of the largest on record, caused a geomagnetic storm in Earth’s atmosphere that crippled the Hydro-Quebec power grid in Canada.
Just this past week our Sun’s inactive status changed. According to Space.com:
The sun has unleashed three intense solar flares in just two days — each one stronger than the last — in an unexpected uptick in solar activity.
The flares began on Sunday (April 2), when the sun fired off a moderate, M5.3-class solar flare. A stronger, M5.7 solar flare followed later that same day. Then, today (April 3), the sun erupted with an M5.8 flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured video of the flares as they occurred.
For Further Thought:
- How might living with an awareness of the Last Day be helpful to our living as children of the Light, children of the Day?
- How does complacency set in? What does it say about faith?
Thank You, Jesus for pointing us forward to the day of Your return and a day of judgment. Thank You for dying on the Cross so that Christians do not need to fear that day. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for the joy we can have in You. And we thank You for the privilege of calling You “Savior!” Amen.