Friday, March 10, 2017
Ask not. . .
Our nation lives not in the throws of a people seeking to serve but a nation of whiners constantly making demands of our government and inventing rights that must be granted or we will complain about the bigots, racists, and Nazis who have denied us. We have forgotten the dream of a nation in which not all shared the same place or religion but at least the same values. We have forgotten the ideals of hard work and a fair shot at a success that no one has guaranteed. We have forgotten that there is a cause greater than me or a purpose larger than my own happiness. And it shows.
We refuse to believe that desire should ever be denied and we insist that anyone and everyone pay so that we can pursue sex in the name of the love and erase the mistakes the end up living in a woman's womb. We refuse to believe that there is a more profound or powerful identity than attraction and we demand to be defined by what it is or who it is that arouses us. We refuse to believe that truth is stronger than feelings or that we cannot define or deny truth to fit our desires and preferences. We refuse to believe that we should be held accountable for anything or that we are ever responsible for our unhappiness or unpleasant circumstance. And then we claim the legacy of Camelot and complain about the small size of those who would lead us (as if we are willing to be led). Those who protest and loot in the name of freedom are held captive by their lies and their desires.
Ours is a world where people have their best life now because it is their only life. They dream of ghosts and spirits but they live in the realm of today and their whole lives are lived in the present tense. Worship and faith make sense only if there is a judgment, a reckoning of sorts, before the face of the Eternal One. Absent any sense of judgment, there is little use for worship and faith -- except if they make you happy! And so the orthodox face of Christianity is harder and harder to see in the face of a world seeking more the therapeutic than the righteous, the temporal deity than the eternal one, and feelings more than truth.
How is that working out for us? Not so good. As a people we enjoy the rant more than a conversation, we live to blame more than understand, and we are more fearful than hopeful. The Church is needed now more than ever. Without the ordinary things of life to sustain us, we are ripe for hope that does not disappoint, for grace that goes beyond generosity, for mercy that forgives the undeserving. The real Church of cross and suffering that bestows forgiveness, life and salvation. The sturdy truth of real flesh and real blood instead of mythology that speaks of what might have been. The tide may be against us but the need remains and only the Gospel can answer the hopelessness and despair of a world adrift on a sea of uncertainty.
As much as we admire Kennedy's words, they were always a hard sell. Sin places self-interest above everything else and only those who expect and anticipate something bigger than themselves are willing to risk it all in serving the neighbor in need. To a world in love with an idea, God has sent the flesh and blood of His Son. To a world so mired in sin that they cannot even see it, God has given the Holy Spirit to open our eyes. To a world so content with an evolving truth in which nothing is true God has sent His Word that endures forever. And if we are privileged to know Jesus Christ, then let us make Him known. The time is always ripe for the Gospel.