“What A Year!”

Well, there certainly is a lot in the news that is contested at the moment. However, who can argue that this has been a year unlike any other certainly in most of our lifetimes? With Covid-19, the recent U.S. elections, political divisions, social unrest and protest this has been a year to remember.

It has obviously also been some time since I have shared thoughts on this page (3 years!) even though we have been quite busy during all this time. So I thought it made sense to once again publish something that hopefully would be of help to some.

In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul the Apostle writes:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Gal 5:1)

The iceberg below the surface for the Church is the threat caused by any number of “yokes of bondage.” These have confronted us this year just as they have society at large – the unrest, the divisiveness, the response to real histories of injustice, the public health concerns – but they have a particular effect on the Church.

First, as citizens, as individuals, as family members we share to a degree the concerns of society at large. We are not unaffected. We are confronted as are others by the question, “what shall I do?” But then as Christians and members of the body of Christ we are especially confronted by the spiritual nature of these social and civil problems.

This has caused stresses and cracks that many of us have not experienced as Christians in our lifetime. I am reminded, however, of the Galatians scripture. I cannot lose my focus on Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Today’s confrontation and tomorrow’s solutions will be found in the unchanging Christ.

I have also been convinced that whatever our responses these stressful times, we cannot allow temporal problems to damage the eternal body of Christ in our members. Proverbs reminds me that the seventh thing that God hates is actually an abomination, and that is one who divides his body. (Prov 6:16)

At the end of this crazy year let us take stock and measure our unity. First with our Savior but also with each other. Finally, are we prepared to serve a very troubled world in 2021?