As I write, we're 66 days away from the Election. We're headed into a November to remember! Now, we're in a dismembered September. Will there be an October surprise? There is so much political division, uncivil accusations, and media mistrust. Who do we believe? What's true? I've never seen America so splintered. Factions and forces are aligning that will affect our nation's future. What will be the outcome? On the religious front, events are set to happen that will force us to make important choices.
Did you know God has a calendar? The Lord observes times and seasons. Some Biblical events affected humanity - the Exodus, the Crucifixion, and Pentecost. We need to pay attention to God's event planning. September has important holidays that occur on the biblical calendar. The first is the Hebrew New Year, Rosh Hoshanah, Sept. 18-19. The next event is the Jew's highest holy day, The Day of Atonement, Sept. 27-28. Each holiday spans two days because the Hebrew day begins at sunset and ends 24 hours later at sundown. This pattern was set in Genesis when the evening and morning were the sequential days of creation.
Whether biblical or secular, history is reality. It can't be erased, only denied. Your history, apart from grace, is also reality. Usually, who you were in the past defines who you are in the future. Our calendar does more than mark the passage of time. It's a record of reality. This winter in America we'll mark another anniversary – 400 years after the arrival of the Mayflower. That ship from England was filled with pilgrims desiring to settle in the new world. They were Puritan separatists wanting a fresh start. To keep good order, they formed an agreement called The Mayflower Compact.
"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620."
From 1620 to 2020 marks 400 years from the date the Puritans landed. These Christians made a covenant. They built settlements. They survived incredible hardships, these 102 men, women, and children. They spent 66 days and nights in peril: on storm-tossed ice-cold seas, danger from pirates, sickness, bad food, unsanitary conditions, crowded below deck in a leaky cargo hold, at risk of drowning. One woman gave birth to a baby while on the treacherous crossing.
I want you to consider that we Americans are on another dangerous crossing. Will we put our trust in God? Will we band together in agreement and perhaps save ourselves?
-- Ron Wood is a retired pastor and author. Contact him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org or follow him at Touched By Grace on Facebook. The opinions expressed are those of the author.