As I prayed the Invitatory Psalm this morning, I had to stop and pause for a while to let Psalm 95 resonate within me. As I reflected upon the culture around us, I could not help but think how these words may apply to us today.
"Forty years I endured that generation. I said, 'They are a people whose hearts go astray and they do not know my ways.' So I swore in my anger, 'They shall not enter into my rest.'"
The brief Scripture reading contained in "Morning Prayer" then reinforced the need to be vigilant in following Christ. "Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost." (2 Peter 1: 10)
My dear people, we are headed into some very troubling waters regardless of the final verdict of the presidential election. Half of the country is going to be quite angry either way. What does that mean for your faith journey?
Are you concerned at all about religious freedom in the United States of America? Why or why not?
Do you believe the divide in the Church is just as immense as the divide in our politics? Why or why not?
What role does relativism play in our current situation?
What role does the media play in shaping your spiritual journey?
How does the political climate impact your spiritual growth?
(The following questions about the pandemic will help you delve into that last question more fully. Whether you answer yes or no to each question, follow it up with rationale for your answer. Then examine what impact this has on your spiritual journey.)
1. Do you believe it was right for government to close down businesses?
2. Do you believe it was right for government to close schools--even private schools?
3. Do you believe it was right for government to close churches?
4. Do you believe it was right for government to close beaches?
5 Do you believe it was right for government to ban funerals (or limit attendance to ten people)?
6. Do you believe it was right for government to ban graduation ceremonies?
7. Do you believe it was right for government to ban parties?
8. Are you okay if the government bans you from gathering as a family at Thanksgiving next week?
9. Do you think it was right for the government to ban hospital visits?
10. Do you think it was right for the government to ban nursing home visitors?
11. Do you think it was right to ban dads from delivery rooms in the hospital?
12. Do you think it was right for the government to allow multiple funerals with large gatherings for people they found worthy of the occasion?
13. Do you think it was right for the government to allow protests (and even riots) while not allowing other gatherings?
14. Do you think the government did enough to protect our churches and statues from vandalism during the civil unrest?
I ask these questions not to start a political debate, but to explore one's worldview. People look at these recent events through very different lenses.
I sum it up with these final questions:
What do you believe is the role of the government in society?
What do you believe is the role of the Church in society?
How does individual freedom and responsibility fit into these institutions?
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. However, "When the Son of Man returns, will he find any faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8)
The 1960's ushered in a whole new morality into the American culture. Subsequently, God has endured our generation for 60 years--not just 40. When does the mercy and patience of Almighty God draw to an end and righteous anger take over?