Peace amidst a noisy culture

Does it seem to you that no matter how much time passes and how much effort and money are put into responding to problems, people are just as upset and fearful as ever?

During the first year or so of the pandemic it seemed like two opposing groups were afraid of the same thing. Many people were afraid of dying, so they agreed that everyone should stay home and wear masks, no matter what. Other people were afraid of dying if they could not go out and enjoy all the activities they were used to.

What about a rather large, reasonable part of the population that was between the two? If you plot the disposition of people on any number of topics, you often get a bell-shaped curve; there are some people at each extreme with most people in the middle.  But we tend to hear from and see those very noisy few because of the extreme sense of desperation they feel. Fear can be just as loud and tenacious as bravado.

Rather than being swept away with the currents in media or the noise of our culture, we could carry the everlasting words and promises of God that give us life in our consciousness and in our witness to others. Daily Bread provides a memorable verse or two from the Bible to share. Your own daily Bible reading likely also has wise and powerful words to share. My own daily reading brought me to this passage from 1 Corinthians 3.21b-23: “… For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

Death is ours? What does that mean? It means that because of the infinite life God gives us, we can offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). Our bodies are dying and will return to the dust.  But our regenerate soul is the essence of our person and lives fully, especially in the face of challenges, even as Jesus did. We are not careless with our bodies since this is a stewardship from God to be used as the means by which He loves our neighbor through us. But we are not afraid of losing our life. On the contrary, like our Lord Jesus, we become conscious of the life God has given us as we use that life for the care of others. God has already numbered our days. God has already prepared good works for us to accomplish. God has already prepared a place for us in heaven and will follow that with the resurrection of the body and a new heavens and earth. What could be more reasonable and peaceable than using a body that is passing away anyway in service of an everlasting kingdom and the everlasting life of others?

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