Psalm 104:24–35; Joel 2:18–29; Romans 8:18–24 (read online ⧉)
We have lost a lot in the modern age. One of the things is awareness of the land. In the current COVID-19 situation, we may be regaining some of that, as prices go up with agricultural workers being unavailable due to illness.
The health of the land was deeply tied to the health of its people. We’ve seen some strange perspectives of that with both environmental activists and blind corporate juggernauts.
For many the environmental ties to a flourishing people are obvious. To others, not so much. In the era of Jesus and even today, when nature has severe weather, agriculture often takes the brunt of it. In Paul’s age, they were very much aware of that, especially as there were a series of famines. Thus the land needing healing was quite obvious to any person.
The land was tied to prosperity. An unhealthy land made for unhealthy people. It was also the case, which was Joel’s point, that an unhealthy people made for an unhealthy land. Paul noted that it was just humanity that longed for a Savior…the rest of Creation longed for it, too.
Pentecost wouldn’t seem to have much to do with that, yet, it is the empowerment by the Holy Spirit of the people of God, that would be the new shepherds to heal the land. Justice and mercy were not just to be attributes of God, they were to be attributes of his people.
The land isn’t just the physical land and the animals, it is the heart of the people in it, too. The land, our land, is very sick. It is not just COVID-19, it is something far deeper and even more ill. There is an illness that is infecting the souls of the people of our nation and even the people of the Body of Christ.
We may not be able to fix it all, and we certainly cannot heal it all. We can be the messengers of love, grace, and mercy. In so doing, as we guard our words and actions, we will be different than the world that seeks to attack and destroy others.
The love of Jesus Christ cannot back down, and the Body of Christ cannot just let the vileness that pervades continue to build and lash out. We are not called to lash out as the world. We are to say that Christ died for them to heal their pain. We can only walk them on the journey.
※ Prayer [BCPOnline] ※
O God, who on Pentecost taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
※ Afterward ※
Questions seem superfluous. The recent death of George Floyd has taken an anxiety-ridden world and launched chaos. The rise of mayhem and violence will not heal or reconcile. It will only harden hearts. We are called to be the church for such times as this. How we can and will respond in this and in all such, we can only pray that we bring honor and glory to God.