The Sky is Falling
Whether you watched the 2005 animated film Chicken Little or read the American folktale (it was also called Henny Penny for the literature aficionados) the coronavirus epidemic/pandemic feels apocalyptic. In the story of Chicken Little, there was once a chicken name Chicken Little. A bird flew over head and dropped an acorn on his head. Suddenly, he runs to the king and exclaims, “Help! Help! The sky is falling, Help! Help! The sky is falling!”
The overwhelming fear from the coronavirus has created alarmists-those operating in exaggeration and causing unneeded danger, reactionists-those only responding in the negative or with hyper-negativity, a hypochondriac mentality- those who constantly worry that they are sick, impetuousness- those rushing out and living their lives as there is no tomorrow, and much more that cannot be classified because of fear or foolishness.
Like Chicken Little, the world is crying out, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” Many Christians are relating current day events to Revelations chapter six where wars, pestilence, financial hardship, etc. plagues and kills one-fourth of the world’s population. Thus. where should we as Christians stand? Is this the end of days and is there still hope for mankind? Let me give you three relevant reminders.
First, let’s be aware that before Scripture gets to the apocalyptic events in Revelations chapter six, there are five chapters previous that gives us an answer of where Christians should stand and where our hope should be. Over this past year, coincidentally (or maybe this was God’s providence) Christ Chapel did a series on the Churches of Revelation. Recall that in chapter 1 that John writes about the revealing of Jesus. He reminds us that grace and peace come from He, who is, who was, and who is to come. “…Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the earth.” (v. 5) Christians should stand with Jesus. John reminds us that He has “freed us from our sins by His blood.” He is alive and well and ready to deliver us. This is a poignant reminder that Jesus is still sovereign over the world.
Second, remember the sequence of events that occur in that chapter. John having seen the glory and power of God, “fell at His feet as though dead.” Have you ever had an experience or moment where you fell on the floor as dead? I did. A few years ago, I experienced losing my job. I went from providing food and revenue for my family to zero dollars in my bank account. Going through my bank statements, for a year after the layoff brought me to my knees. I realized that the fear and anxiety of losing my job controlled me. It changed my attitude and aptitude of how I loved and cared for my family.
After falling dead to his feet, John had two assurances. First, he felt Jesus’ right hand on him. As if that’s not assuring enough John hears His voice: “I am the First and the Last, I am the living One. I was dead and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev. 1:17-18)
Now that I look back, I can place Jesus’ hand on me through the love of friends and Biblical community when I experienced the loss of my job. Also, I can recall the moment, in the most solitude and quiet of times, the voice of Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Is. 41:10) It is incumbent on us to continue today like John did yesterday; listen to the voice of Jesus and feel His touch. How do we do that?
1) Know your Scriptures—value the time you spend with God the Father, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit our Comforter. The word(s) of God come alive in our darkest of times.
2) Spend time in Christian community. The love of Jesus can be felt through the love of the church. 1 John 4:7 reminds us of the deep love we can experience with one another, because love is from Him. This is a candid reminder that Jesus is in the Scriptures and in Biblical community.
Finally, I want to answer the elephant in the room: “Is this the end of days?” I have been reading many articles about the end of times. The quickest and more sure answer is yes. Since the first century Christians have been looking for the return of Christ. Some eras have been bloodied by war, famine, and sickness. Several historians would argue that the worst time is the mid-1300s when the Black Plague, Hundred Years’ War, and other battles, illnesses, and times of famine killed millions. Others would argue that World War 1 and 2, during the early 1900s was the worst. Historians believed more died by influenza and famine than the actual war itself.
However, I believe that believers need not to look whether this is the end of days. Rather, like the author of Hebrews says we need to be reminded that “… in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (Heb. 1:2)
As believers we have to keep the main thing, the main thing. The Gospel is still the hope of the world. Jesus lived, Jesus died, and Jesus rose again. This simple fact means that as long as there is life and breath in us, we must be a vehicle to share the Gospel. Whether you are in online meetings, picking up drive thru food, standing in long lines at CVS, or cooped up with cabin fever, our calling is to make Christ known. This is a lasting reminder that Christ still lives, and the urgency is to share the Gospel not worry about the present.
“The sky is falling; the sky is falling!” It may feel this way, but take some time and reflect on 1 John 4:4, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” Memorize it. And when the darkest of days come, you will remember it.