Some news I thought was interesting
Colosseum in Rome is leaning, officials say
“Experts say ancient building has started to tilt, with south side 40cm [15inches] lower than north, and may need urgent repairs. The ancient Colosseum in Rome is slanting about 40cm lower on the south side than on the north, and authorities are investigating whether it needs urgent repairs. Experts first noticed the incline about a year ago and have been monitoring it for the past few months, Rossella Rea, director at the 2,000-year-old monument, said in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.”
Before I was saved, I went to Italy. One of those times I visited the Colosseum. I wrote about that visit here. For a short while immediately after I was saved, in reading the passages in Revelation and Peter and Isaiah where the earth will be completely deconstructed and remade, I was sad that all the pretty things would be swept away too. All the “great art”, all the “monuments to man” like the Colosseum or Pyramids. But of course all those were made by sinful man’s hands and many of them, particularly in art, are odes to false gods. (Botticelli’s Primavera for example). As I matured I began to see man’s works for what they were, symbols of debauchery against a holy God amid our history across human epochs. The Colosseum will fall. Now or later, it is guaranteed to be swept away in the calamity of judgment imminently bearing down on us. Let’s start seeing these cracked and tottering monuments of rebellion for what they are- and get used to thinking about the glories ahead made by Jesus’s hands. (John 14:3).
600 million without power as massive blackout plagues India
“India’s northern and eastern power grids have failed, plunging half the country into darkness. It is the second consecutive day in which blackouts struck India. … Hundreds of miners are reported to have been trapped in Burdwan, North of Kolkata following the outages. “We are trying to rescue the coal miners. All efforts are on to resume power supplies. You need power supplies to run the lifts in the underground mines,” Mamata Banerjee told reporters in the state capital Kolkata. … Power is also being channeled into the subway to help get stranded passengers to the nearest station. The subway has been partially restored after coming to a grinding halt when the power cut struck. … A grid failure in Delhi and much of northern India left more than 300 million without electricity on Monday. This was one of the worst power outages to hit the country in more than a decade.”
600 million is twice the population of the entire US. Those in the dark today represent about 60% of the entire nation of India, which has 1.2 billion people. Wow.
The spiritual metaphor that sprang to my mind was the light versus the dark. India is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religious traditions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. According to 2001 census as Wikipedia reports, 80% of those 1.2 billion people in India are Hindu. Again according to Wiki, only 2% of those in India are Christian. Now they are in the dark physically. The nation is in the dark, spiritually. Even if the Electrical Power Minister organizes the crews to get the lights back on, those people will still be in the dark.
Man Hospitalized After Shark Attack Near Cape Cod
“The man bitten by a shark as he body-surfed with his teenage son off the coast of Ballston Beach near Cape Cod, [Truro] Mass., is expected to live, officials said. The attack happened around 3:30 p.m. Monday when Chris Myers, a father of two, was pulled under the water by a shark. Police say the shark bit Myers in both legs below the knees in possibly one single, crushing blow. “They dragged him out and they had to carry him up here and they had to wrap it around his legs and he was bleeding through the gauzes,” a witness said. “It was bad. Both his legs were pretty bad.””
Shark attacks this time of year in Massachusetts are not unusual. Seals come to feed, and they come pretty close to shore. Sharks prey on seals so it’s natural they would be close to shore as well.
I visited Martha’s Vineyard in 1975, crossing from RI to the Island on a friend’s trawler. That is where Jaws was filmed. Some of the filming apparatus was still around. The movie was just out but the kids I was traveling with nor the parents seemed concerned about swimming in the harbor. I remember the older teenage boys jumping from the flybridge into the sea, plunging down deep under the slate gray surface. Shudder. Not me. Too spooky
I have mentioned before that I also lived on a sailboat for a while. On our first day in the blue Bahamian waters, just after crossing from Florida, we swam and swam, delighting in the fact that we could see the bottom. The water was that clear. In the Atlantic you never see the bottom unless you snorkel close to shore. “What’s under there?” was a question that had held endless fascination for us and now we could actually see! We swam further and further, trailing along the anchor line that extended far in front of the yacht. Finally as the sun set we called it quits and climbed back aboard. Our VHF radio crackled on and the buddy boat we had crossed the Gulf Stream with told us some important information. “Never swim at dusk. The sharks come out to feed. In the ocean, you are at the bottom of the food chain.”
The ocean can be, and often is, a hostile environment even for man who has been given to reign supreme over the animals. On dry land, we are on hostile territory too- spiritually. Satan is the god of this world, according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. When Satan tempted Jesus, he offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would just worship Satan. (Matthew 4:8-9). Jesus did not refute that satan had the ability to make the offer. Though under God’s sovereign control, satan has been given latitude on this earth to roam freely and to devour whom he will. (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8).
If you are not saved, you are at the bottom of the food chain. Satan comes at you sneakily. Satan will chomp your legs just as fast as that shark did to that man in Cape Cod. If you are saved, Jesus has lifted you from the bottom of the food chain to the top! However, satan will still try to come at you, like Chihuahua nipping at your heels. If you do not resist him, he brings other Chihuahua dogs to harass you, or God may even cause him to dog you (2 Corinthians 12:7) for your own good. Always remember we’re on hostile territory- enemy territory. It is what is going to make reaching heaven through death or rapture such a relief. We’ll finally be in friendly lands, not a stranger any more but home with the Father and our spiritual family.