Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Did I see that right?
In the past week there have been several things that have taken place in our nation’s capital that have caused me to wonder at times…did I see that right? Last Wednesday I watched in disbelief through the portal of my computer screen, our Capitol building being entered by a group of angry citizens in a completely unlawful manner. Tragedy followed as bedlam ensued. In the days following, there have been calls for the President to resign as many decided the demonstrators that went rogue had done so at his behest. I have also been watching as a new attempt to impeach has begun in the face of his refusal to resign, and the Vice President’s refusal to invoke the 25th amendment to the constitution that would essentially deem the President unfit for office. All of this again causing me to rub my eyes and ask myself, “Did I see that right”?
The past year has in fact given me many occasions to ask the very same question. The pandemic created a situation where governors across the nation closed businesses, public schools, colleges and universities, and even churches. As I go to the grocery store and other places of business still open and I see everyone with masked faces looking as if they are readying themselves to perform major surgery I wonder from time to time… “Am I seeing this right”? This past year as I watched coverage of complete inner cities with broken glass where organized storefronts previously displayed their wares, as I watched buildings burn as demonstrations morphed into riots, I wondered again… “Am I seeing this right”? In the past few months alone; we have seen people beaten for no apparent reason, police stations taken over by rioters, and in fact complete sections of cities taken over as “Autonomous Zones”. As the anarchy that ensued became THE story in the news outlets and other media, all sane people wondered from time to time… “Are we seeing this right”?
I don’t know about all of you but for myself and many of those I have spoken with, these events have caused us to look at the world through a new lens of distrust. We almost can’t believe we have seen what we know in fact we have seen…and continue to see. There was the election and all of the questions raised as to its fairness and validity, and the seemingly lackluster desire of our nation’s leadership to offer any meaningful examination to reinstill confidence in the system. Last week I watched as the opening prayer in the House of Representatives was ended with the Phrase “Amen and A-woman” Incredible! No I mean it, it was incredible! If someone had simply told me about it and I had not seen it with my own eyes…I would not have found that person to be credible…I would have been sure they were mistaken! But no, it really happened…I saw it with my own eyes just like the rest of the nation did…So, Ill ask it for all of us, “Were we seeing it right”?
Other than the fact that the past year has brought with it a new brand of insanity, what’s my point? I know that all of these crazy events have had me questioning from time to time, is this the America I know and love? I also know as I have spoken with many that the same question has been on their minds. These questions have elicited a gamut of emotions that span from disappointment, frustration and outright anger to anxiety and fear and everything in between. So what do we do? These things are important right? They are…but maybe we’re making them too important.
Paul wrote of this very thing in his second letter to the Corinthians. Chapter 4 is all about living in a world full of events that defy belief and that theme and what we are supposed to do in response continues into chapter 5. The answer to the question so often asked “Did I see that right?” and the negative emotions that can follow is given in 1 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith and not by sight. This might seem a glib answer, but there is profound truth contained in this short verse. We can believe that we see what we see, however, should we attach such weight to what we see? Do the events we are witnessing make up the totality of our existence or are they in fact only a miniscule portion in the context of eternity? If as Paul was writing to the Corinthians in these two short chapters, we are dual citizens and the far and away greater of the two entities we hold citizenship in is the Kingdom of Heaven, what should my reaction be to the things I see? How should that understanding affect my response? If My King is still on the throne, unable to be deposed, should I not live with a visible confidence and peace no matter my personal, temporal condition? In fact, shouldn’t that peace that is seemingly unwarranted (Phil 4:7) be as it promises, to be guarding my heart and mind? What hope can I expect others to gain through the illustration of my relationship with Christ if my response to what I see looks just like theirs? Child of God, He knows what we are going through…none of it escapes Him. He sees you, His eyes are upon you, He loves you immensely and intensely and has decided that anything you experience can be used to further you in your ability to look like Jesus! And He is praying you through all it through His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-29)
Paul concluded 1 Corinthians chapter four with these words, and I find them so very timely today…and in fact on any day that proves I am not yet in Glory…1Cor 4:16-18 (NKJV) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Kind of gives some clarity to what he wrote by the inspiration of the Holy spirit just a few short sentences later…1 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith and not by sight.
So now, recognizing that what you see is only temporary…but your loving King is eternal…go be awesome!