Bringing the Text to Life

The Lesson of the Locusts Joel 2:1-2,12-17

The Lesson of the Locusts

Repent, and a blessing is sure to follow.

At a Glance

A caterpillar invasion last summer in Massachusetts reminds us of an ancient infestation of locusts -- an apparently natural event that ignited a call for repentance.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's epistle text, see "Bill Me Later," February 25, 2009, at

This may surprise you, but according to

a Public Religion Research Institute opinion poll, 38 percent of Americans believe that God uses nature to bring divine judgment upon humankind.

And since that kind of judgment is normally understood as a punishment for human wrongdoing, what do you suppose those 38 percent of Americans might conclude about the residents of Massachusetts, who last year, suffered through a massive caterpillar invasion?

Just saying "caterpillar invasion" straight out like that may sound funny, but it's no joke. Here's how a Boston Globe article from last June opened its report on the plague: "They are hungry, hairy and covered in warts. They...

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