Matthew 16:1-4 – They asked [Jesus] to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." (NRSV)
It's coming, and before you realize it, you will be living in a new millennium. That may be something of a yawn for you, but 1000 years ago there were riots, upheavals, uncertainty and fear to mark the end of the first millennium. I wonder what will happen as we leave the second and enter the third millennium?
"The end of the millennium is coming and that makes us edgy", says University of Toronto philosopher, Mark Kingwell. His book, Dreams of the Millennium, explores our anxious culture and the "strong hold that the dialectics of gloom and hope have on us in the declining days of the century." Our swings between hope and dread are a very human response to a new era. "We all wonder desperately what the future will bring."
What will the future bring? The secular society sees a tension between hope and gloom. What about the church that worships the Lord of the millennium? Do we wait with fear and trembling, hope and anticipation? If the dawning millennium has anything to teach us, it is that each day is the day of Christ's coming and each year is another year of celebrating the covenant of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, fullness of time and Lord of history, prepare our minds to celebrate with faith the great jubilee of the year 2000, so that it might be a year of grace and mercy. Master of the millennium, we celebrate your birth, life, death and resurrection which are the only signs we need in an age that seeks signs and wonders. Help us to remain faithful followers through the madness of the moment. Help us to share your love everywhere with everyone. Amen.