What a week and what a mess!
If ever there was a weekend when our entire nation needed to be in church, it’s this one. Not so we can “get our act together.” Rather, so we can quit acting like we don’t need God.
What we are witnessing in our country is the result of decades of people pushing God out of the public sector, culminating in one of the most bizarre scenes in American history. Not the storming of the Capitol, but the opening prayer on the opening day of the 117th Congress, when Representative Emanuel Cleaver closed his prayer with “Amen and awoman.”
The hopelessness on Capitol Hill and in the hearts of people all around our nation is nothing more than the direct result of the mess we make when we (a nation, individual or group of individuals) attempt to mock or ignore God. It never (read that again) ends well.
We need to get back to God and His Word. We need to pray. We need to repent. We need to weep and mourn over our sins and the sins of our nation. We need to admit our nation is seriously broken and cry out to God for His help, together.
This hopeless world we live in is on fire and imploding. Why? Because they don’t have the answer.
But the Church does. His name is JESUS. He is our “Blessed HOPE.” He is our “ROCK.” He is the reason we can sing, even in the midst of sadness and sorrow.
Listen to what He said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“The hopelessness on Capitol Hill and in the hearts of people all around our nation is nothing more than the direct result of the mess we make when we attempt to mock or ignore God.”
When people come to church they don’t come looking for a donkey or an elephant. They’re looking for the Lamb … whether they know it or not. “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). They don’t need political statements, candidate endorsements or commentary on the latest foolishness being paraded down Main Street, Wall Street or their street. They need to hear the Gospel; the Good News; the unsearchable riches of Christ; the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
People looking for hope don’t need to come to church and find hate, anger, hopelessness, fear and despair. They can find that on the evening news, Twitter, their Facebook feed, at work, even in their own home. But when they come to Church and come face-to-face with Christians, they need to find hope, joy, encouragement, peace and a purpose that goes far beyond this world.
Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul wrote those words from prison.
We have reason for hope and should always be ready to share that hope with others (1 Peter 3:15).
One of the more hopeful things I’ve read since the events of this week transpired came from Phil Cooke, a Hollywood producer with a Ph.D. in Theology. He wrote these lines yesterday …
“The bottom line is that we often forget we live in a media driven culture with hyper-partisan news, and a social media echo chamber. And in the media world, the loudest voices find the biggest audiences.
“And it can make people crazy. Or worse – make us think what we see on TV or social media is the heart of America. But outside that world, the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans are going about their business, and just want to do the right thing, raise their families, do good work, and contribute. Even in our worst moments, the thugs aren’t the majority, and the violent voices are the fringe.
“That’s not to say that we don’t have serious problems in America. We do, and we need to be vigilant about solving those problems, and fast. But the reflection of America we get from the media distorts who we really are.
“Remember, we’ve been through a Civil War and survived. In 1858 a brawl even broke out in the House of Representatives that started with insults and ended in physical blows. More than 30 members joined the melee. This stuff isn’t new, and it’s not the end of the world.
“And once again, the morons who stormed the Capitol yesterday – just like the morons who set up CHAZ or loot buildings don’t represent America. This country is made up of millions of good people of all races and backgrounds just trying to do the right thing.
“They aren’t violent, don’t set fires, or scream into cameras, they just quietly live their lives.
“In spite of the madness that happened yesterday, we’ll figure this out.
“And for the record, I’m proud to be part of a country where that can happen.” 1
As bizarre as it may seem for me to say, I’m proud to be part of this country, too. But even more proud to be part of the Church JESUS is building. Because even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Here’s one more thought … When all else fails, we need to step back and ask why. It’s only then we will be able to see...
… the ONE Who never does.
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
1 Phil Cooke. “When The Capitol Building Was Attacked, Here's What I Saw.” Phil Cooke, Phil Cooke, 7 Jan. 2021, www.philcooke.com/when-the-capitol-building-was-attacked-heres-what-i-saw/.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.