As I endured the single digit temperatures yesterday morning when I headed off to work, and the teens this morning, I truly long for warmer temperatures and peaceful settings. How do I fill in the blank in my title above? New Year's Eve--A Time To Grieve What Has been Lost!
We each experience many losses in our lives. Some are major losses that shake us to the core. Other losses are less dramatic, but painful, nonetheless. The cumulative effect of these losses can take a toll even on the strongest of individuals. In 2020 we even made it more challenging by shutting down the support systems. Whether you wanted to go to church to pray, visit a grandparent in a nursing home, or even support a spouse who was in the hospital, you were most likely told no.
We have each experienced our personal losses this year, but we have also lost a lot of things we share in common. We lost much of our freedom. Some say we relinquished some of our freedom for the safety and well-being of others. Not everyone shared that philosophy. Some claimed we were being conditioned to view our freedom as selfish. In the end, we became less free and less safe. We all lost.
Fear has divided the country even more than it had been previously divided. "Mask it or Casket!" was a popular meme on social media. The response from the other side resembled something like this. "Just because we don't wear a mask doesn't mean we lack common courtesy or don't respect you. We believe your fear is your issue."
The end result is that we are divided more than ever. Trust of major institutions has all but disintegrated. On January 20, 2021, half of the country will be livid at whatever ceremony takes place at the inauguration. Half the country spent the last four years not accepting the results of the 2016 election. Half the country will not accept whoever is inaugurated in three weeks. If it is true that a nation divided against itself cannot stand, then we can pretty much read the writing on the wall for our country.
"The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions. The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."
~ Calvin Coolidge (30th President)
"We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity."
~ Franklin Roosevelt (32nd President)
"The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul.... If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!"
~ Harry Truman (33rd President)
"It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ."
~ Attributed to Patrick Henry (Governor of Virginia)
"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure....are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."
~ Charles Carroll (Signer of the Declaration of Independence)
We have lost the ability to debate issues. Instead, we see coordinated attacks on the personal characteristics of the person being targeted.
Unfortunately, billionaire tech gurus currently serve as the moral compass of society. That should be sending of shiver of fright down the spines of all citizens, and yet, many people welcome the censorship and lordship of the few. "Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone's garden."
It could be that 2020 was a year to awaken our spiritual selves. Churches were closed. Did we continue to pray, or has our spiritual life crumbled?
You can see my previous blogs on New Year's Eve for a lengthy list of prayer intentions. This year, I would ask you to specifically pray for all those who died--especially those who died alone and/or lonely. Pray for the grieving families who are filled with regret at not being able to see their loved ones for months before their deaths.
Pray for those who committed suicide and the families who grieve.
Pray for all who are suffering emotional and mental distress.
Pray for those who lost their employment and means to support themselves and their families.
Pray for those who lost their businesses.
Pray for the future of our country. It is in desperate need of healing.
Pray for those in Church leadership. Turbulent waters will be with us for a while.
As we grieve what has been lost, let us take a stand to preserve and regain our Christian heritage. We cannot stand by idly and watch the collapse of society. Good people must engage the culture. We cannot be silent. Take time to grieve what is lost, but then get up and be an ambassador for Christ.
"Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then it seeks to silence good."
~Archbishop Charles Chaput