Posted by: Mark | March 11, 2011

The earth moves under my feet

Chile, May 1960 9.5 on the richter scale. Alaska, March 1964 9.2 on the richter scale. Northern Sumatra, Boxing Day 9.1 on the richter scale. Kamchatka, Hawaii, November 1952 9.0 on the richter scale. Yesterday, Japan 8.9 on the richter scale – the fifth biggest quake recorded*.

One of the new experiences I have had while living here in SE Asia is to have been in several earthquakes. It is a humbling experience to be on the second floor of a building as it oscillates completely out of my control. Being in an earthquake you get a healthy realization of just how small you are. Humans beings with all their knowledge have no power to stop an earthquake.

For those that are visual orientated check out this page from the BBC for photos and this page for some videos from the BBC including one of the tsunami.

As we think on these things what should be our response. As Christians we should be informed so that we pray. As Christians we should be informed so that we know how we can help. As Christians we should know that the Japanese people are the second largest unreached people group in the world**.

Lately, as I reflect on the earthquake in New Zealand (and now in Japan) and on the situations in the Ivory Coast, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Zimbabwe, the Yemen et al the following verses have come to mind and reminded me that as Christians we have a part to play in the last few words (v14):

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come. Matthew 24.3-14

For those of you who read the news and were concerned the tsunami never threatened us here at all – we are all good.

*From the United States Geological Survey (USGS) – http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/10_largest_world.php

**From the Joshua Project – http://www.joshuaproject.net/unreached.php

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