“Dada! Wee woo! Wee woo!”
That was my soon-to-be 2-year-old son a couple weeks back.
We were sitting in our Orting home having lunch and listening to the monthly lahar siren test. My 3-year-old daughter was not fazed by it but my 2-year-old got excited. He wasn’t nervous, you see, he just wanted to see the “wee woo.”
Now you’re probably wondering what in the world is a “wee woo.” Well, according to my son, it’s a fire truck or anything with a siren, and he loves them. So he started whining because he wanted to go outside and see. So I unbuckled him from the chair and brought him out into the front yard to listen as he frantically searched. Of course we never saw a “wee woo,” but I did get some neighbors trying to comfort this new guy in the neighborhood from Minnesota who’s unaccustomed with volcanoes. I think they thought I was nervous but I assured them that siren tests are nothing new to me. In Minnesota we had monthly tornado siren tests, but this test had an ominous sound to it.
I knew Mount Rainier was an active volcano before we bought our home but I never thought much about what it meant to live in the direct path of a devastating lahar flow. Believe me, that reality is not lost on this new Washington resident. When I heard that lahar siren test, it hit me: This volcano will erupt someday and more than likely destroy my home (but hopefully not our lives). So now I’m thinking about what it means to be ready.
We are surrounded by warnings in this life. Some we take very seriously and some we take for granted. Some warnings sound too often and thus people stop hearing them. How many times have you heard a so-called prophet say, “The world is going to end on (such and such a date)”?
In Minnesota I heard a number of tornado sirens but with no tornado, so after awhile I stopped reacting to the sirens. Actually, I would run outside to try to find the tornado.
The point is this: Warnings are important and meant to be taken seriously. Scripture tells us that Jesus IS coming. But don’t get me wrong, that is not a warning per se, but rather a promise: Good News. We have sirens and alarms to alert us of things in this world, but when Jesus comes there will be no siren or seismic activity to warn us. The trumpet will blast and Jesus will be here, with no time to get ready.
“Jesus is coming” means God’s kingdom is being established, and that’s Good News in a bad new world. And considering all the bad news that keeps happening in this world, God establishing His kingdom will be a welcomed sight. So bring on the exploding mountain and landscape-changing lahar flow, God’s kingdom is coming, and I am waiting for the “wee woo” of the trumpet blast.
Pastor Eric Hullstrom leads the congregation at Living Word Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Puyallup. His personal site is heartofapastor.wordpress.com.