Late last night, the neighborhood was still rumbling from the pyrotechnics of the juvenile delinquents in our apartment complex. While I sat awake, I thought back on the evening’s events.
Dan and I went to our local fireworks show, avoiding the huge downtown Seattle extravaganzas. We listened to the Rainer symphony play John William’s movie themes on the Lake Meridian waterfront. Right at dusk, the symphony let loose with rousing John Philips Sousa marches, and fireworks lit up the night sky over the water.
It’s amazing to watch the beauty that comes from such a potentially dangerous force. Gunpowder has been used to kill millions, but we’ve found ways to redeem it for beautiful purposes. Beautiful and deadly, sounds like something C.S. Lewis said about Aslan, who represents Jesus (or God). Aslan is “not a tame lion.” He’s beautiful and strong, but he’s also ferocious and deadly.
At the park, people from all different walks of life, religions, skin tones, ages, sizes, were all watching the sky, ooohing and ahhing at the spectacle. For the first time, I made the connection between watching fireworks in the night sky and watching for Christ’s return. Jesus told us that he’s coming back, just the same way that he left, but with a lot more sound affects and lighting: “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). Somehow, miraculously, everybody on earth is going to see him at once: “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:27) and “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen” (Revelation 1:7). That’s some fireworks show!
Part of the reason we love fireworks so much is because deeply imbedded in us is this expectation of Christ’s return. Buried in our hearts is the knowledge that our Savior is coming back, the same way he left, in the clouds, with thunder claps and probably lots of colorful fireworks, like the world has never seen.
So when the pyros in my back yard are getting out their late night ya yas, I’ll praise my Lord for planting his Word in their heart, even if they don’t know it yet. Until then, Maranatha: “Come Lord Jesus.”