Gas Station Proclamation

On the way to the store I passed a sign at a nearby gas station, a sign I often notice as it is the kind of sign that allows one to change the letters and thereby change its message at its owner’s whim. The owner of this sign is obviously a Christian as he often posts verses of Scripture as well as pithy sayings of a spiritual nature. On this particular day the message read, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” and though I have heard and read this verse several times, on this day I heard it in a different way.

Generally, when I have heard this verse I have understood it as a call to prepare oneself for the coming Kingdom, with the implication being that you better heed this warning while there is still a chance, otherwise the Kingdom will come when you least expect it, and it will not go well for you. On this day, instead of a word of warning I heard a word of hope. What I heard this verse saying is that because the Kingdom is coming one can for the first time genuinely repent. Why? Because the coming Kingdom means that God is coming in gracious power to set people free from bondage to sin, idolatry, worldly pseudo-hopes, and religiosity. The coming Kingdom means that God is laying an axe to the root of our alienation and providing a reconciliation through which God’s righteous reign will finally be able to rule the hearts of humanity.

I wonder if the guy who posted this message had any idea how hopeful his message would be.

3 Responses to “Gas Station Proclamation”

  1. Sara Hubert  

    I’ve always enjoyed the signs at that gas station. He has sort of a signboard ministry.

  2. Tom  

    Great word Tony. Indeed the Kingdom of Heaven being at hand is not a warning of fear, but of anticipation and of hope.

  3. K.L.B.  

    Why don’t you write or call him to thank him?