"TAKE A NUMBER"

Don’t you love to hear, “Take a number,” when you’re already in a hurry! But have you noticed—it’s as if the headlines bombarding us lately are themselves stepping out of an interminable “take a number” line. Must be why something keeps telling us we have yet to hear from the last of them.

Here are a few of the ones we’ve already heard from this spring turned summer:

·        April: Baltimore explodes over the police “homicide” (the state medical examiner’s conclusion this week) of Freddie Gray in the back of the police van, corroborating a string of “blue on black” violence headlines across this nation, including the video-taped shooting of an unarmed black man by a white officer in South Carolina

·        April: Investors are now borrowing in record numbers (margin loans) to purchase stocks—their debt an all-time high of $507.15 billion in April (a $25 billion increase in just 30 days)—“roughly” 50% higher than just before the October 2007 market peak and eventual collapse (www.mauldineconomics.com)

·        May/June: This season’s extreme weather—record rains, floods, heat, tornados, drought—becomes the new normal for this nation and world

·        June: Pope Francis, who with the stroke of his encyclical pen last week did what scientists over decades have been unable to do—galvanize world attention on global warming and human destruction of earth’s ecosystems—the same pope who offered this week a personal apology to a gathering of Italian descendants of the nearly exterminated Waldensian church: “On the part of the Catholic Church, I ask your forgiveness, I ask it for the non-Christian and even inhuman attitudes and behavior that we have shown you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ forgive us”—(what will this winsome charismatic spiritual leader announce when he becomes the first pope to ever address a joint session of the U. S. Congress on September 24 and then the United Nations on September 25?)

·        June: A lone white male last week shoots and kills 8 parishioners and their pastor inside the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston with the intent to start a “race war” in this country

·        June: Supreme Court announces its decision regarding same sex marriage laws

“Take a number”—they have been—so the headlines keep coming. Here are two more:

·        First time in history gathering of 2000 North American Seventh-day Adventist pastors and families expected in Austin, Texas, June 28 for three day convocation CALLED 2015

·        Delegates, leaders and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church convene in San Antonio, Texas, July 2 for ten days of world church worship and business (including whether to grant the 13 divisions of the church permission to decide the ordination of women to the gospel ministry on a division by division basis)—potentially record numbers of attendees expected

Eight random headlines—one divine call to pray. Pray for what? “Could there be a convocation of all the churches of earth, the object of their united cry should be for the Holy Spirit. When we have that, Christ our sufficiency is ever present. We shall have every want supplied. We shall have the mind of Christ” (Manuscript Releases 2:41). I.e., pray to be filled with the Spirit and the mind of Christ. For without them how will His prayer for us ever be answered: “. . . that they may be one as We are one . . .” (John 17:11, 20-23)?

So let’s “take a number” and come together to pray—this Wednesday evening (on behalf of our nation after Charleston) and this Sabbath (on behalf of our world church in San Antonio). After all, in the very gathering together to pray do we not become the very answer Christ was praying for? “. . . that they may be one . . .”

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