There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. (Revelation 11:19 WEB)
I was always fascinated with fireworks and the beautiful display of colors and patterns. Growing up in Greenhills, Ohio we attended the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. We sat on the grassy hill at the front of the local lodge across from an open field. For hours we sat, ate sandwiches and waited until it was dark enough to start the show.
Skyrockets, spinning wheels, and roman candles filled the sky with colors and patterns and plenty of booms. Each ear shattering thunder clap was accompanied by oohs and aahs. The grand finale was always the Niagara Falls wall of white sparks. When the last watery spark fell to the ground the show was over for another year. Mom and Dad packed us into the car for the five minute ride across town to our home.
Over the years I witnessed fireworks in many countries. Some were spectacular, some mediocre. On furlough we often attended the Fourth of July celebrations with the requisite fireworks. But none of these compared to a show I witnessed in Monte Carlo.
Within weeks of our arrival in Europe I was whisked off on a trip to visit satellite downlink sites and our station in Monte Carlo. Within hours I drove through the Alps, Germany, Italy and France to reach Monaco. There are 130 tunnels; I counted them, between Milano, Italy and Monaco.
It was July and warm. In the evenings we stretched our legs and walked the busy streets and alleys of Monte Carlo. I discovered this was fireworks season. Each year different countries presented a synchronized show of fireworks and music to complete for some prize.
Promptly at 9:45 PM the show began. We stood along the rail looking out over the marina. At the entrance to the marina two light houses framed the opening in the sea wall. The fireworks were sent from both sides of the watery gateway with the Mediterranean Sea as a dark backdrop.
There were selections from Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart and even a couple contemporary instrumentals. Each was accented by the resounding boom of the fireworks. There were seven selections altogether. Each round would begin with roman candles or twirling sparklers near the base of the sea wall. The size, color and grandeur of the display would rise with the music and in altitude to punctuate each round with a spectacular light display. At times there was more illumination from the fireworks than the normal street lighting. This went on for quite some time and I thought, “The boys would love this!” I haven’t seen such fireworks anywhere else in my life. I thought Disney World did a top-notch job until now.
I’m reminded of the earth shattering descriptions in Revelation. After the seventh bowl God declares, “It is done!” Lightening fills the sky, thunder rolls and we’ll witness fireworks to make Monte Carlo and Disney World pale in comparison.
I’m excited when there’s a chance to see fireworks. Even more I’m excited to see God’s redemption of the world. Then my dream fireworks will have a purpose. It’s good to enjoy fireworks but we must keep our hearts attuned to the eternal fireworks which declare the finished work of redemption in the world. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!