My favorite president, Calvin Coolidge, once said, “The business of America is business.” Today during the coronavirus pandemic hysteria, he must be spinning like a top in his grave. Two weeks into our war with an invisible enemy there isn’t any business because we shut down all the businesses and if we want to have any more business we need to open the businesses again or there won’t be any businesses to do any business when we’re finally done riding the pale horse of pestilence and want to once again get some business done.
America’s economy has been the eighth wonder of the world since it first attained lift-off velocity after the Civil War, but if we keep the economy shut for too long, we run the danger of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. That would be the oft mentioned case of the cure being worse than the disease. At least that’s my two cents. I wonder if anyone is buying what I’m selling? They can if they want, but if they don’t that’s none of my business. In the blink of an eye America the Beautiful has morphed into Apocalyptic America waiting for Mad Max to open the Thunder Dome.
When we’re finally allowed out of the time-out corner, we may well find ourselves in a new world as far as the economy, society, and politics are concerned. However, there is one thing that won’t change. It’s the same thing that never changes and is forever the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God is God and we are not.
God spoke,” Let there be” and here we are. The universe is vast. So vast we have about as much chance of truly understanding it as an amoeba does the space shuttle. If God had not revealed Himself to us through first the Bible and then through the incarnation of Jesus, there’s no way we can ever think our way to the truth.
And the truth is this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Or as the Message puts it, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
That’s it. Sin cannot be where God is. It’s like trying to put the wrong ends of a magnet together. It just doesn’t work. We all have sin within us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Just as we can’t think our way to God and need Him to reveal Himself in the same way we can’t get to God by being good enough. No one can be good enough. Everyone from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint needs the same thing to stand in the presence of God: His unmerited favor or grace.
Paul explained it this way, “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity, he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”
No matter how this pandemic shakes out. No matter what it does physically, socially, or economically spiritually the same door is open to us. All we need to do is walk through and we pass from dark to light, from death to life, from being separated from God to being His child.
Don’t allow the sound bite of the day to depress you. Instead, accept the Good News. All your sins have been forgiven and you are now the righteousness of God. “How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”
The world may be in a war against a virus, but we can be at peace with God. The media may be blowing a discordant trumpet 24/7. Newscasts, briefings, and special alerts may do their best to inform us, but they also do their best to keep us on edge waiting for the final shoe to drop. Let me show you a better way:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Think about that for a moment instead of the reality-show apocalypse playing out on the world’s soundstage, and then answer this question: Got hope? I hope so.