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TANATA is devoted to discussing the paradoxes and the mysteries of life, among which is the paradox of the coexistence of good and evil. “God is love,” John tells us. Evil exists, we would suggest, not because God is detached or unconcerned, but because free will exists which is required for true, unforced love to exist. Still, it is painfully hard to reconcile this paradox. We believe that all evil one day will be judged and destroyed, until then we must pray.

DANIEL 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

REVELATION 1:7

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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Thursday
Jan222009

Clouds

We take them for granted, but they are miracles in themselves. They defy gravity, they water the crops and quench our thirst. They give protection. They are luminous. And when one is cold enough, crystals burst from it in the form of snow, which scientists do not understand.

References to clouds in the New Testament evoke a sense of God’s glory and majesty. It is important to note that the transfiguration of Christ, his ascension into heaven after his resurrection, and his second coming or return to earth, all have an association with clouds. As per the three accounts of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36) Jesus was standing on a mountain with Peter, James and John, when a bright cloud suddenly overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said: This is my son, my beloved, on whom my favour rests, listen to him. Jesus’ disciples were terrified when they entered the cloud, such was the glory of its presence.

Acts 1:1-9 tells how forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, he was lifted up and a cloud removed him from the sight of people watching him.

When his life on earth was coming to a close, Jesus had told his disciples that that the Son of Man will return on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory (Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26). Even in the course of his trial prior to his death, Jesus had claimed before the high priest that the Son of Man would be seen seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62). In Revelation 1:7 John reasserts: Behold, he is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see him. At that time the celestial bodies will be shaken and the sun will be darkened. These are obviously not the clouds of precipitation formed out of normal atmospheric processes as we now know them to be, but heavenly spectacles of awe and splendor that would exude the glory of God.

Paul envisioned that it will be a time when the dead and the living will be caught up in the clouds to meet their Lord and be with him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Jesus himself said that angels will gather his chosen from the four winds from the farthest bounds of earth to the farthest bounds of heaven (Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27). Revelation 14:14-20 has more vivid imagery of this event. It pictures the likeness of a son of man riding a white cloud, wearing a crown of gold and holding a sickle to be put to the earth that is ready for harvest including the grapes of God’s wrath.

O’ER MY HOME A BRIGHTENED CLOUD
O’er my home a brightened cloud,
Lower than is e’er allowed.
Ten feet tall and not so wide,
Waiting as I walked outside.

Cumulus, a puffy ball,
Static, unmoved like a wall.
Just a few feet from my roof …
With a camera … I’d have proof!

Not another in the sky …
Twinkling stars, moon on the rise.
Moonlight set my cloud afire,
As I grew sleepy and tired.

I stepped ‘round beside my house —
Timid, frightened like a mouse.
“Lord, is that you?” I spoke out.
Though no voice … I had no doubt.

I stepped back to see it all.
Was it summer? Was it fall?
No, the grass was thick and wet,
Leaves, they were not falling yet.

At one corner … a wing tip.
I thought nothing more of it.
But ‘twas there: An angel? No.
Trapped inside the cloud like snow?

Dazzled, but sleep beckoned me;
I had seen all I could see,
So I reasoned to go in.
Now the real show would begin:

At that moment like on cue
That cloud rose above my view.
Surely it will hit those trees!
But it cleared them all with ease.

And the wing tip, what of it?
It had not moved, not a bit.
At that moment like on cue …
It broke off, fading from view.

Now I sit and ponder still,
Nearly three years will be filled
Since the cloud rose over me.
Meaning … what will meaning be?

PLEASE READ “THE CLOUD” IN THE UPPER RIGHT COLUMN