Our church gathers for corporate worship on Friday mornings. We read God’s Word, pray God’s Word, sing in accordance with God’s Word, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and my husband (or another elder) preaches God’s Word. That much about Friday mornings is generally predictable.
Friday afternoons vary. Sometimes we have a church potluck, member meeting, baptism, lunch together in the food court nearby, or some other activity. Sometimes I announce that the afternoon will be set apart for a “family-wide nap,” and the only other family member who agrees with me is the toddler. (A mom can hope for 100% participation someday, right?)
It was about 40 degrees Celsius this afternoon, so the kids built their own indoor playground out of couch cushions and blankets. Dave was in a coffeeshop nearby conducting some “member chats” with prospective church members along with some other elders and staff. Tonight he will be at an appreciation banquet for the children’s ministry volunteers. Today is kind of a sampling of an “ordinary” Friday for this pastor’s wife.
While the kids gathered pillows and cushions from every room in our flat, I listened to Mark Dever’s plenary session from the TGC conference on “The Day of the Lord.” That Day is not just any ordinary day, because it is the Day to which we are all headed. Dever explained how the secular mind does not expect this Day, because this life (to them) is all there is:
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 1 Thess. 5:3
The description of this terrifying condition gave me chills. I’ve experienced those kinds of labor pains. In that particular instance I was very much aware that I could not escape. There was nothing I could do. I was in shock. I could barely speak-- much less move or help myself.
This truth should move us to pity to think that people we know will have no escape from the wrath of God. It should move our feet-- to the living room, across the street, to the other side of the world-- and it should move our lips to speak of our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:11-14). We should also “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 5:4). I pray God would move in my heart in such a way that my feet follow his lead and my mouth would overflow with the gospel that I treasure in my heart.
In his talk, Dever mentioned two questions we could chat about with a friend:
- Why do you do the things you do?
- What hope is moving you?
Those are useful questions to help us “be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). And they’re important questions because we all need encouragement to live in light of eternity. We have obtained salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, so we have the privilege of living with him both now and thirty zillion years from now.
Only Jesus has provided a way to escape God’s wrath on that Day. And because we have obtained salvation through him we can say, “There is peace and security," and long for that Day when he returns.