Monday, September 30, 2013

Signs that the Redemption is near?


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 sports figures 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—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 September 2013:

- Rochus Misch dies at 96; Hitler's bodyguard was unrepentant (Los Angeles Times)
- Is kindness contagious? (The Chicago Tribune)
-still looking for answers at left wing (Los Angeles Times)
-Blind driver Mike Newman breaks land speed record at 186mph (The Times of London)
-Miliband vows to scrap bedroom tax and freeze energy prices (Liverpool Echo)
-Liverpool supermodel punched protestor after being attacked on Paris catwalk (Liverpool Echo)

If you were looking for signs of Redemption in September, 2013, you would have been pleased. For example, while few would place the words ‘Liverpool’ (England) and ‘supermodel’ into the same sentence, the Liverpool press has done it. Can you blame them? After all, if a skinny ‘supermodel’ can punch out a protester, we are surely approaching a time of Redemption where peace reigns—possibly because no one will want his name printed in the newspaper after getting his bell rung by, of all people, an underweight urchin wearing, possibly, four-inch heels.

You don’t believe a fashion model can foretell Redemption? Look, you may have your own ideas about what Redemption looks like; but who says you’re correct?

If a fashion model doesn’t speak to you, what about that other Liverpool story—eliminating the bedroom tax? Granted, many of you don’t know what a bedroom tax is; but in the Redemption business, ignorance is no excuse.

Let’s just say that the moment the bedroom tax is gone (and energy prices frozen), some will indeed praise the Lord. Surely, that’s important.

The story of Redemption is often the story of a religious Right struggling against an anti-religious Left. Too often, the anti-religious Left wing seems to win. So it must certainly be a good sign to learn that, as the Los Angeles Times wrote, the left wing is still looking for answers.

Maybe the religious Right is no longer the underdog. Maybe the Right is more right than the Left. Maybe the Right has better answers!

Yes, of course, some of you skeptics will point out that that headline wasn’t a religion headline; you’ll claim it was a sports headline about troubles for a hockey team trying to prepare for a new season. But what does a skeptic do about the story from Chicago? In a city of broad shoulders and rude drivers, the Chicago Tribune asks, ‘is kindness contagious?’ If that’s the Chicago we all know, Change must indeed be in the air.

How delightful!

The Los Angeles Times ran a story that contains what at first glance looks like a mixed message—but which isn’t mixed at all. In this story, we learn that Adolf Hitler’s ‘bodyguard’ (whatever that means) has just died—unrepentant. His lack of repentance would seem to be a negative, for how can Redemption come when someone is unrepentant. But that conclusion is misleading. For Redemption to have a problem, the unrepentant have to be alive. This unrepentant is dead. Therefore, the story focus should not be the unrepentant’s lack of repentance. The story highlight should be that this unrepentant is finally dead. Surely, that death brings a better world closer, right?


Look around. 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 blind men driving at 186 mph. Have you ever heard of such a thing? You’ve certainly seen cab drivers driving fast; but the blind?  

That could be a sign. It could mean we now stand on the threshold of a wondrous time when the blind can do anything. That’s not just a miracle—that’s Redemption.

Has September brought us the beginning of something New?

You tell me.



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