A Daily Dose of Good News
Thursday, June 18, 2020
But they say, “It is no use! We will follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of our evil will.” Therefore thus says the Lord:
Ask among the nations: Who has heard the like of this?
The virgin Israel has done a most horrible thing.
Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion?
Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams?
But my people have forgotten me, they burn offerings to a delusion;
they have stumbled in their ways, in the ancient roads,
and have gone into bypaths, not the highway,
making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever.
All who pass by it are horrified and shake their heads.
Like the wind from the east, I will scatter them before the enemy.
I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity. (Jeremiah 18:12-17)
Backdoor Good News
Today’s Daily Dose of Good News
Is something of a backdoor affair.
I mean, how great and amazing it is
That we have a God who loves us enough
To allow us the freedom for responding to that love with love … or not.
Israel in the time of Jeremiah had strayed from God.
They were not responding to God’s moral imperative
With authentic love for God and neighbor.
And God was not pleased.
Yet God didn’t stop them from straying.
In the name of love, God allowed them to fail.
Friends, we continue to give thanks
That God accompanies us during our challenges
With the COVID pandemic and social unrest around racial justice.
And created in God’s image,
God has given us the agency for dominion over the world
Including difficult circumstances like these.
We have the benefit of smart people to learn about the virus
And then communicate with us the best ways to counteract its effects.
And we can engage matters of justice and reconciliation between races
With the same moral imperative God championed for the Israelites long ago
To love God and all neighbors alike.
Yet God is not going to stop us if we refuse to do either
Because that is the nature of self-giving, vulnerable love.
While it has taken some time to coordinate the message,
Medical professionals have now clarified for us that
We can best manage the COVID virus
And even resume some portion of our economy
If we will only
Keep social distance in large crowds
Wash hands regularly
And avoid shouting and singing with groups indoors.
Yet while infection rates across Ohio, thankfully, are falling …
Perhaps due to people following that guidance
And perhaps too, because many people are still staying home
Which is always the safest alternative …
As a country though, whether our strain is different than other countries
Or our reporting is different
Or perhaps we’re not cooperating as well,
For some reason our infection rate has at best plateaued
While pretty much every other country
And even Europe and Asia as a whole have seen their infection rate decrease.
God will accompany us always
Even as we are free to ignore
the best guidance God provides through faithful people.
Similarly too, with social unrest.
We’ve certainly been down this road before.
A recent poll says Americans haven’t been this unhappy in 50 years,
Which makes sense given what was happening 50 years ago:
Race riots around the civil rights movement in the late 1960’s
Some are saying this time is different.
What’s not different is this.
God will accompany us always
Even when we fall short of God’s moral directives
For loving God and neighbor.
As with prophets of old,
May God keep inspiring leaders among us
To show the way for justice, mercy and wholeness for all.
And may we keep our eyes and ears open for those leaders now
And then accept the challenge to follow
For the sake of God’s reign of love among us. Amen.