March 20, 2020 Truth is that in America, western culture, and throughout the world, it has never quite been as we may have been led to believe. We’re steeped in a society that has tended to celebrate humanity throughout the entirety of its three hundred year plus existence. Terms and phrases such as rugged individualism, human genius, American exceptionalism, and hard work ethic, are all representative of America’s corporate self-image and psyche. While the intent of this article is by no means to attack these conceptualizations offhandedly, it is intended to briefly remind us of how important it is to properly contextualize them, if we believe in God. Human greatness, if there indeed be such a thing, can only be if there is a greater God behind it. Jeremiah in prophetic anticipation of an impending attack upon Judah, and ultimately Jerusalem, lamented, I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own, that we’re not able to direct our paths. (Jer. 10:23, CEB). In these words, the prophet acknowledges that neither individualism, genius, exceptionalism, hard work, nor the whole lot of human attributes or efforts, left to stand on their own, can truly bring aid or deliverance in times of crises. Back behind it all is an eternal omnipotent God who holds the title to all things and the solution to all ills. We are eloquently reminded by the psalmist of this fact: The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants too. (Ps. 24:1, CEB) Today’s musings come to simply remind us all that our ultimate help is not in man himself as we grapple with the ravages of COVID-19. As we sit amid the quandary of delays in the supply chains that normally make our economy work, as we ponder if there will be food at the supermarket, or if the government will ever come up with needed ventilators for the gravely ill or protective masks for the vulnerable, the health workers, and first responders; as we witness our investments eviscerate, and pensively wonder if the next pay will be my last for a while; even as we question whether or not my business or church can survive in this turbulent hour; or perhaps as we wait for a vaccine to inoculate us from this deadly thing; may we all stand reminded of this one veritable fact: My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19, CEB) Look to Him and trust in Him! He is our source!
Yours in His Service, Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.