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Life on Montserrat, by Phil Ware

    Life on Montserrat has come to a standstill. Most the island’s 11,000 human inhabitants have evacuated and its capital city of Plymouth lies in shambles. This beautiful little island in the Caribbean has become a smoking cauldron of fear as its volcano has rumbled, spewed and erupted with greater frequency over the last two years. Its former residents have left nearly all of their worldly possessions behind to be gobbled up under the advancing lava flows and layers of volcanic ash.

    What was once precious to those who lived on Montserrat is now seen as superfluous compared to the lives of those they love. There is nothing quite like having your world burn up to remind you what is important! Even the most die hard residents have begun to leave, or at least made sure their families have been evacuated to safety.

What difference does it make to us that all the things that most people work for will burn up?
    Those of us who live in safety, far away from the lava flows and the falling ash, can look on with empathy, but without urgency. Lulled to sleep by the monotony of our own day to day lives, we forget that we also live on Montserrat. This tiny beautiful island is the great metaphor for our own world, if we will allow God to peel back all our illusions and see it for what it really is.

    Peter’s description of earth's ultimate end reminds us that this is so: “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:10) So then, how will we live? What difference does it make to us that all the things that most people work for will burn up? What urgency does it give to our lives knowing that the volcano could blow at any time?

    The answers are really pretty basic. First, only what we invest in God and godliness lasts! Second, people are eternal, things will burn up: let’s orient our lives around people! Third, we can take joy in the fact that we will be resettled in a better land when our little blue island is brought to desolation. That’s why Peter begins his letter with the urgent call to pursue godliness, which ultimately matures us to brotherly kindness and love, and assures us a rich welcome into God’s eternal Kingdom! (2 Peter 1:3-11)

    So now that you know you’re living on Montserrat, what changes in your life today?

Tour Montserrat

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