The Hope of Easter in an Eroding Society
Wow…I have to shake, and bow, my head… I am at risk of feeling overwhelmed when I can’t afford to be. I hear of the terror attack at Brussels that killed 31 and wounded more than 180. At this very moment when governments are rightly taking measure to protect and secure their citizens, I know that on a human level, our nation is anything but secure.
Here’s an image I have from my youth: I remember my grandfather, wading into the waters of Lake Sybil, putting down rock upon rock upon rock, along the shoreline below his cabin that he built, to prevent the waves of erosion which threatened to take his land. We also have rocks which have been given to our society by God’s wisdom, yet have been largely neglected by many, and eroding:
Our private lives have eroded: Greater allowance and approval of deviant behaviors, have produced half-grown “grownups” whose addictions to pornography, video games, and social media have destroyed potential long-term, mutually meaningful relationships. The abundance of convenience as the new “normal” has enabled us to be content with superficiality. Access to the plethora of plurality has led us to abandon the objectivity of God’s Standard in favor of subjective “moral majority”.
Our families and marriages have eroded: Pornography has destroys marriages before they begin! Increased self-centeredness blinds us to our own spiritual realities: that we were made for relationship. Rather than taking the harder road of commitment and sacrifice which leads to strength, stability and safety, we seek the downhill slippery slope of immediate self-gratification. For example, according to the Pew Research Center in 2015, the US marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low of 6.74 per 1000 people. We put at a disadvantage or even handicap those children who grow up without a stable mother and father in the home!
Our churches have eroded: We have preferred the life of unaccountability from a flat-screen pastor! Not only are pastors held at more than “arms-length” as a model to his community, but “members” are unapproachable for building real depth in discipleship, or dealing with and defeating patterns of sin! Too often the result is “defriending” and moving away from those necessary friends and messages that offend us! Do we see that the church is there as our spiritual family, to be with us through thick and thin?
Due to the erosion of which was formerly the backbone of society, the lack of these foundation stones is leading to a nation that is being swept away by the tides of immorality. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21) The point being that God has already declared what is good & evil, light & dark, sweet & bitter, and should we deviate from that, we are only hurting ourselves.
Fortunately, we can find the Cure at the place where we last left Him! “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:4-8
Recognize the problem, and move to the solution! It all comes back to the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, that we celebrate at Easter, and every other day. Death could not keep its hold on the Giver of Life, and as He conquered the grave, He promises the same to His children, those adopted into His Family by faith. Through the surrender of self, we entrust ourselves into the care of the One who promises Eternity to His Own.
When He seems far off: “Where is God in my suffering?” He has chosen to enter into your suffering, and take it to another level. Jesus Christ had not only chosen to enter into humanity and bear the worst physical suffering imaginable, but has also put upon Himself the unimaginable; taking the penalty of your sins on His shoulders, so that you do not have to suffer much longer.
Psalm 62:7 “My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge”, and Isaiah 26:4 “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal”
He becomes our Foundation, the only Rock incapable of erosion by the tides of change.
It is only then, that we can dare say, “God Bless America, and the nations – With Repentance!”