It’s the end of the month again. That means it’s time to take another look at Redemption.
For years, the American magazine, Sports Illustrated, has run a weekly mini-report entitled, “Signs of the Apocalypse” (or something like that). It contains a one-or-two sentence announcement that features some weekly occurrence in the Sports world. Typically, it focuses on someone doing something really stupid. It highlights how incredibly awful highly-paid or famous people can be. Such behaviour by those we honour, the piece suggests, is surely a sign that our world must soon end.
Mostly, these incidents entertain.
That magazine comes from America. We live in Israel, which follows a different religious and spiritual orientation. So if someone in America thinks about Christian-inspired world Destruction, perhaps we can think about something different--a Jewish-inspired Redemption.
Consider now some recent examples from the news that, in some way—humorous and not so humorous-- might suggest that the world might be preparing for something New. If you don’t see how these headlines might pre-sage a Jewish Redemption, that’s okay. That just means that your ‘Redemption training’ isn’t up-to-date.
For August 2013:
If you were looking for signs of Redemption in August, 2013, you were not disappointed. The coming of avocado beer, for example, seemed a particularly propitious way to think about Redemption on a hot August night.
Think about it: if your daily allotment of vitamin C also makes you beer-ily bleary, doesn’t that mean Redemption is close?
You realize that avocado beer is related to Redemption, right?
Don’t you see the connection? Only at Redemption-time would avocado beer sell. To prove this point, ask yourself one question: under normal circumstances, would you volunteer to drink an avocado beer?
Besides, look at the name of the brewery making the beer. Surely, that’s a hint.
Well, beer-makers in Angel city might give us a Redemption lift, but a judge in Tennessee certainly seems like a party-pooper. While the name, Messiah, was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby names in the United States in 2012, a judge in Tennessee put her foot down. She wanted Messiah’s family to change his (or her) name. Perhaps she’d heard that Mohammed was the second most popular name in England, and wanted to do her part in protecting the West against someone else’s Eschatology (End of Days story); or, maybe she just had something against Messiah.
The headline wasn’t clear. But if Black Americans and Islamic Brits are giving children Redemptive-style names, shouldn’t we wonder what’s going on? Shouldn’t we ask if all this name-calling is good or bad?
August did bring some clearer Redemption news. First, the bad guys in Gaza can’t afford as many Mercedes Benz any more. That’s got to be good.
Cat-lovers received their own minor redemption with the headline that cats really are man’s best friend, not dogs. Then Israel—prophesied to be a Light unto the nations—was declared fourth in the world for health care efficiency.
This last headline might really be a signal that Redemption was close. Israel ranks 97th in the world by population and 153rd in land area. Truly, Israel is tiny. You shouldn’t expect it to rank in the top ten in any category; it’s simply too small to compete.
So when a headline announces that Israel ranks 4th in health care efficiency, you see immediately how Israel can become a ‘Light’ for others, to show the way to something better.
Our future beckons. The world reveals hints. It is up to us to understand what we see.
Naturally, it’s possible that all these headlines are meaningless. These news stories may have nothing to do with the Jewish Redemption. Perhaps they simply prove that nothing changes—except our perception of Redemption.
But then we see odd headlines about diseases—and about the possibility that honey has the power to block cancer. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Honey preventing cancer?
That could be a sign. It could mean we now stand on the threshold of a wondrous time when death no longer threatens. That’s not just healthy life—that’s Redemption.
Has August brought us the beginning of something New?
You tell me.