Summer is officially over, but you would never know it by the current weather with sustained temperatures in the 90s. It would be easy to disregard the fact that it is now autumn even in Alabama. However, I’ve noticed warning signs that autumn is upon us. More and more leaves have turned yellow, red and brown and fallen off the trees in my yard. My Japanese Maple trees have begun their autumn transformation of color that will eventually become a beautiful deep burgundy.
If only we humans were as disciplined and in tune with God’s plan for our lives as nature is with the seasons. If so, we’d adhere to the warning signs around us that lead to real hope rather than the distractions of power, privilege and prestige.
One definition says, “a warning sign indicates a potential hazard, obstacle or condition requiring special attention.” We see that in the disturbing story in the assigned gospel text for this Sunday told by Jesus of the rich man and Lazarus. There will be many spins on that story from pulpits around the world; but the bottom line is that this story is an encouragement to adhere to the known warning signs around you that lead to hope. Don’t wait for some contemporary supernatural warning sign to do so.
In the scriptures we’re told that if you won’t adhere to those warning signs; it’s doubtful that you will be persuaded by someone bringing you one as a message from one of your dead relatives as Oda Mae did to Molly from Sam in the movie “Ghost.” So, take the time to see and adhere to the warning signs of hope that has already been made known to you by scripture or being brought to you from contemporary voices of encouragement.
Start by joining us in worship this Sunday now that summer is over. My sermon is “Adhere to the Warning Signs that Lead to Hope” based on Luke 16:19-31