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Summary: The aftershocks in Japan have been intense. We need to learn how to respond after shock.

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TITLE: AFTER SHOCK

SCRIPTURE: ST. MATTHEW 24:4-8 / ST. LUKE 21:11-12

(This Sermon drew upon a few of the points in a sermon by Rev. Jerry Shirley, January 2010)

I want to spend some time this morning addressing what the Word of God has to say about the great tragedy we have all been watching in the news as MASSIVE 8.9 some reports say 9.0 EARTHQUAKE followed by a Destructive TSUNAMI struck the country of JAPAN. We have been watching the TRIPLE THREAT as the Nuclear Plants have begun to release dangerous levels of RADIATION in the atmosphere. It was the FOURTH MOST POWERFUL earthquake every recorded and the most powerful Earthquake registered in Japan. The Death toll as of Yesterday was approximately 7,700 and rising. It is a terrible lose of human life and property. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered and continue to suffer.

There were hundreds of stories in the news over the past week discussing everything from the human side told by eyewitness survivors to interviews with seismologists and oceanographers discussing the threat of future tsunamis. Satellite and Cable news channels have covered it thoroughly around the clock, and I am sure most of you, just as I, have been transfixed to the television, not believing the great devastation that we have been watching.

After all that we have been watching, it has also been noted that the country of Japan has experienced over 550 Aftershocks. Some registering 6.2 - which is significant by itself. I can only imagine that the experience causes lack of sleep as well as continued panic for the survivors. The aftershocks in Japan have been intense. We need to learn how to respond after shock.

• How do we as Believers respond to such tragedy?

• What should our reaction be?

• When our world shakes

• When we are in shock

• After it happens

• After shock has gripped our being

• What we do next as believers is absolutely vital

The following quote comes from the website of the UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY or USGS. It is the short version of the physical cause earthquakes.

"Earth scientists believe that most earthquakes are caused by slow movements inside the earth that push against the Earth’s brittle, relatively thin layer, causing the rocks to break suddenly. This outer layer is fragmented into a number of pieces, called plates. Most earthquakes occur at the boundaries of these plates."

Yes, my brothers and sisters the AFTER SHOCKS in Japan have been INTENSE. We can learn from them and how to respond -- After Shock -- has rattled our lives. THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH IS BREAKING UP. It is shifting around. Surely such a situation is not good. But it was not that way originally. The Bible tells us that at one time everything in the creation was "GOOD." Everything God had done and created, he declared it was good. Matter of fact when He created man, he declared “IT IS VERY GOOD.” Every part of what God made in the seven days of creation was good. There wasn’t a single bad thing about any of it. It was PERFECT.

• But earthquakes and tsunamis are not good

• They’re very bad

• They’re tragic

• They’re horrible

• Yet aren’t they, too, a part of God’s creation?

So what happened? How did things get from "good" to the tragedies we see today? In the process of time things changed because man rebelled. This opened the floodgate that allowed Sin to enter the World as we know it today. What we see today whenever we hear of or experience such natural disasters is a reminder of the consequences of our allowing sin to corrupt what God has created. I am not suggesting that we blame Adam and Eve for what transpired in the Garden of Eden, I am convinced many if not most of us would have done the same thing. I am suggesting because we continue to sin we open the gate wider at the passing of each generation.

I have heard those interviewed around our country and it appears that many are afraid that something like this or of greater magnitude will strike our country. Heard on Fox News suggested that Americans are Panicking because a radioactive Cloud could drift all the way from Japan across Ocean and be harmful to our country. I have even heard those around us say they feel that something tragic will happen in our country, something more tragic than what we experienced at 9/11. My brothers and sisters the first thing we should do after shock is to take an assessment of our feelings. As many of us watched news reports on the destructive earthquake and tsunami that wiped out Japan’s coastline of homes and communities, I couldn’t help but wonder: HOW COULD I WITHSTAND SUCH TRAGEDY?

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