Of Thanksgiving and uniformitarianism

Turkey-thanksgiving2 “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NIV).

Do you remember when you were young and you thought that “everything goes on” as it always has?

When I was young I remember Thanksgiving Day was always at my grandmother’s house in the country. I loved being there with all the cousins playing in the barn and in the creek waiting for Granny to call us to dinner. Every year was the same… until it wasn’t. One year, Granny didn’t feel like cooking for everyone anymore. So, Thanksgiving was at my house that year. No cousins. No barn or creek. Just our family in our suburban home with a turkey breast instead of a whole bird. It was good. But it wasn’t the same.

After Robin and I were married, we started going to her parent’s home in the country for Thanksgiving. In a way it felt like a return to my youth. Driving out into the hills, around the curvy rural roads, even the trip to their house was familiar. Our three children grew up with this tradition. For most of our 31 years of marriage, every Thanksgiving Day was marked by a trip to the hills of Virginia to eat turkey, go hiking, shoot guns, and be with family.

Then, suddenly it was over. Without warning, Robin’s father died of a heart attack in the Fall of 2008 and then her mother passed in January of this year. The funerals have taken place. The house in the hills is sold. The estate is settled. Thanksgiving will have to find a new home.

That brings me to a thought about uniformitarianism. Many scientists believe that the state and rate of processes at work in the universe today are unchanged from those in the past. Their view has led to an explanation for the origin of the world based on gradual change over billions of years. The theory of evolution is dependent on this view.

I haven’t lived for billions of years, but in my 52, I’ve seen a lot of change. When change comes, it comes suddenly, not gradually. And it comes without warning.

The apostle Peter said that in the “last days scoffers” would come, scoffing about Christ’s coming again. He said that they would reason that things are “as they have always been.” He said they would argue against changes they had never seen.

But the Bible says that the history of the world is marked by sudden Divine interruptions. God suddenly created the cosmos in a matter of six days. After centuries went by, God swiftly judged the earth with a worldwide deluge, destroying all that breath and rescuing Noah and his family. A few more millennia passed and God abruptly sent Jesus into the world to become flesh and offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.

The Bible says that this same Jesus will come again. Suddenly, without warning, like a “thief in the night,” Christ will return. History is not circular as the Eastern religions suppose. Nor is it uniform as some scientists reason. It is linear and moves as the Author of Creation moves it, from beginning to end.

Peter warns us that the sameness of the day to day can lead to a kind of ennui and sleepy living. He warns us to wake up, because something is going to happen that changes everything.

Thanksgiving Day is at our house this year. Robin and I are the new grandparents and we’re having the whole family over for turkey with all the fixins. Our grandkids will begin to think that this is how it has always been. But we’re older and wiser now. We know better.

We are fully awake and watching for the sudden changes that God brings into human history, especially the promised appearance of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

One comment on “Of Thanksgiving and uniformitarianism

  1. Mike Wheeler

    Thanksgiving… I was talking to a friend who I has witnessed to a few times. I had not seen any positive response, until Thanksgiving eve. Another friend had made mention about a mutual friend who had passed. My friend told us, “I got saved when I was 14 years old”, then described his doubt because he hadn’t been a regular “Church goer”. Without jumping out of my skin, I simply explained that the answer lay in the renewal promised in the Word through Christ’s teachings. I pray he will find the path that started years ago. Thanks Jesus!


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