13 May 2020

I noted yesterday that there is (or will be: Parliament has “stopped the clock” under urgency to get this through by tomorrow) aggressive regulations around public health that affect the whole populations. Our freedoms are at the whim of the Director General of Health. Mundabor this morning notes that the Portuguese have shut the shrine to the Virgin at Fatima so pilgrims will not pray on that feast day. The church is being shut down hard because of social distancing, and this is on the way out of lockdown.

But this will not continue. People will start voting with their feet, and the crisis will worsen.

So, the question we have this morning is what to do? I think Hearthie is correct. We need to choose who we serve, and know that wisdom comes only in the service of God.

Proverbs 3:13-18

13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

I don’t believe we should got to the streets. That time may come, but at present the moral witness of the Church comes from preaching God within the regulations. We will obey those masters set upon us, but we won’t worship them. Nor will we pretend that we have rights: the can be taken with the stroke of a pen.

Instead we need to abide in the word of God. For Christ will show us freedom regardless of our circumstances.

John 8:31-38

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house for ever; the son remains for ever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

Abiding in Christ will remove sin. Slowly. As we find ourselves walking more with Christ, we find there is more to reform. God loves us, and he knows we are deeply flawed and fallen. He loves us anyway. We must not worship our status or the traditions of our family: that our fathers and forefathers were great men of God. They have passed. This is our time. And we can choose to walk with Christ and abide there, or follow the whims of this world.

For this world wants us to be slaves to our vices, so we can be thrown under the bus at a convenient moment. It is for our good that we are not called to be like them.