Dear Friends, This last week has been a reminder that we live in God’s world and, although fallen, is not out of control. All events lie within his permitted will. At present we know in part; then we shall know fully as we are fully known – 1Cor.13:12. In Christ, George. Eyjafjallajokull. Word on the Week 24th April 2010. Earthquakes have been occurring in South America and China but it has taken the Icelandic eruption to wake up Europe to their horror. Of course we knew about Haiti and Peru. We had even read about China. This one was different. This one hit us! True there was no loss of life and only a little brown dust to wash off the car – but the disruption to air travel! Paralysed we were. Cut off from the homeland in our holiday retreats. Stopped in our tracks for 6 whole days. Much weeping and wailing at the airports while the ferries never had it so good! The more macho among us had tales of buses, trains and automobiles to tell and those with an equestrian interest made the annual pilgrimage to Punchestown Race Course a do or die affair. All in all a bit of escapism to get our minds off the economy! What about places where ‘quakes are a common occurrence? Take Muslim Iran for instance. A leading Iranian cleric has told the faithful they must pray and give to the poor to avoid the earthquakes that have often ravaged the country, a Tehran daily reported on Saturday. The comments by hardliner Ayatollah Ahmad Janati in his sermon at the main weekly Muslim prayers in Tehran on Friday came a week after a fellow cleric warned that immodestly dressed women were causing quakes. “No-one can predict earthquakes with certainty, except those who are pious,” the reformist Aftab e-Yazd newspaper quoted Janati as saying. So now we know! What does the Bible say about earthquakes? Quite a lot. In all three synoptic Gospels Jesus is recorded in saying they would be a regular part of this age (not in the age to come) until the return of Jesus to redeem all of creation. Earthquakes, as you would expect, feature strongly in Revelation – a book which ushers in the end times. Earthquakes have the ability to concentrate the mind like nothing else. It is significant that they featured at both the Cross and Resurrection; St Matthew 27:54 & 28:2. The first of these events powerfully affected the Centurion in charge of Christ’s crucifixion. The scripture says he was filled with awe and said of Jesus, “Truly this was the Son of God”. The second heralded the moving of the stone to reveal to Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and John the triumph of the resurrection – so well captured in the paraphrase of Psalm 48: – The Saviour died, but rose again triumphant from the grave; And pleads our cause at God’s right hand omnipotent to save. Earthquakes? They strike terror into the heart of man but hold another message for the Believer. Put your faith in the risen Christ. He is returning soon.