“The Indian Weather Rock” (Luke 12:49-56)
49 “I came to cast fire on the earth and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
So far our text:
This is the tried and true weather predictor of the Old West. Used by early pioneers as they learned from the native Indians. You placed this outside your cabin or even your wagon, if travelling, and looked at this special rock to know what the weather was going to be like. You would simply go outside and look at the rock.
As the wise and mystical Indian prediction saying went:
If Top Of Rock Dry No Rain
If Top Of Rock Wet It’s Rainy
If Top Of Rock Hot It’s Warm
If Top Of Rock White It’s Snowing
If Rock Under Water Start Swimming
You’re In A Flood
There are signs that stocks may rise or fall… some folks buy and sell accordingly. Signs of the seasons changing. The mesquite tree in Texas is the last to leaf out in Spring. When it is leafing out – that means winter is over, no more freezes to worry about.
There are signs that it may rain… rain lilies appear in the yard or bar-ditch, the Texas sage bush starts to bloom.
There are signs for this, signs for that. There are signs that a couple is falling in love…. There are signs when people fall out of love. We can interpret the signs of the times. When Wal-Mart starts selling candy corn (which they have by the way. I got some on Friday and brought it to the Friday night Lock-In. It’s all gone already) you know Fall and Halloween are near. When you start hearing the song “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!” at Hobby Lobby, you know that Christmas is near. (Although they already have Christmas Trees up for sale.)
Have any of you ever read the Farmer’s Almanac? They are actually a wise guide to knowing when to plant things because of the different zones and times of the year. However, they are not so good at making their predictions for the weather, which they do for a year in advance. Although, the local weather people aren’t really any better. Hey kids, just an idea if you don’t already know what to do with your life when you get older, become a Meteorologist. The are right half the time and wrong half the time and still get paid in full. So, you get a salary for making predictions that can be completely wrong and still get paid.
But people do not follow the signs that say pay attention to the here and now. The sign is, that now is the time to examine our lives and say are we really for God and following Him.
This passage really makes us uncomfortable from beginning to end. Jesus tells us He’s come to bring division, not peace. But the division is between the things that we hold to on earth which we make more important than God. Then we are told, you can seemingly read the signs around you about the worldly things, but you have not held to what is truly important. Look at the empty Cross before us, it is one of the greatest signs we have. It shows us that Jesus, who lived, died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sin is very much alive and here for us now.
Have you ever looked at the other folks, perhaps the younger generation, perhaps the older generation, perhaps a parent of a child and thought “They just don’t have a clue!” That’s sort of what God is saying here to us. Do the signs indicate that you should follow the Lord with ALL your life? If you answer no, we need to set up a time to talk. If you answer yes… How does it feel to be called a hypocrite? Or more so, how does it feel to be called a hypocrite by God? Because that is what He does in the text. We aren’t living the way we say we should be living.
God is pointing out how comfortable we have become with the world. It’s almost like we like the life in Egypt, the brick making, the slavery, the pain and death, the Pharaoh ruling our daily lives. God wants more for us. He wants life and salvation. He wants forgiveness and a future. He wants us to pay attention to the signs that matter, the cross before us. Look at the skies and know that dark clouds mean rain is coming. In a Texas Summer, when the south wind blows, it will be hot and smoky. Then in winter and the North wind blows, we’ll have a blue Norther, cover the plants. We trust the weather, more than we trust the Lord. He tells us what’s best for our lives. He leads us to fellowship and Christian living and we don’t seem to get that these things are critically important.
Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, and sort of theologian, from the 1800’s said, “From the very beginning, the purpose of Christianity was to change the world.” That is 100% accurate, Jesus came and changed everything. He ushered the New Covenant. Jesus didn’t come to make peace, and He certainly didn’t come to be ignored, or to be preached about once a week and forgotten about the other 6 and a half days. Jesus came to divide us from the world and help us to come to Him. So, in the week ahead you’ll have the opportunity to talk to people. What will you talk more about? About the weather? Or about Jesus? Which will be more important?
Pastor Bill Lowrey