ForthWrite For Christ

Writing to free the prisoner of one idea, crossing the bridge of paradox to truth, serving the legacies of Chesterton and Lewis who defended their faith in Christ

Security and Despair and the Good News Out of Nazareth

When this current economic crisis began to reveal itself, I observed the comments as they rolled in from both Twitter and FriendFeed: they revealed something about us.  What was that? First, that many of us still think that what happens to us is isolated and has no effect on others.  Many of us were too involved in the decision of whether to support the bailout or not to concern ourselves as to the outcome upon the world financial markets.  Second, these comments and actions revealed something else which all of us are afraid to admit: The state of having to depend on someone else is dreadful to all of us.  What if they don’t come through in the way we want them to?

That’s it, isn’t it? We want what we want.  And for many of us that means the other fellow loses his or her job, but not me.  The other fellow goes without but not me.  Yet this economic crisis is somewhat of an equalizer: All the world is being affected.  The fallout may go on for a long time.  And yet there will be some of us who will go on just as we have before: able to get what we want when we want.  We will get to keep things under control while we watch others flounder around us.  So what does this really reveal about each of us?

It is this: How do you and I learn to deal with learning to live with insecurity?  Because even if we have what we have now, there is always tomorrow and we may lose it.  Everyone of us knows this deep down and it is times like these that remind us of that reality.  Still, when times seem to favor the security the politicians promise us (and appear to deliver to a larger segment of us), we tend to forget reality: We were never promised “settled happiness and security” (Lewis) by God in this world. History has never told us anything different.  We witness the truth of that everyday, even if far removed and only acknowledged through an article in a magazine about world events or the evening news.

In her book, Smoke on the Mountian, Joy Davidman states the following:

“Christ never offered us security.  He left that to the politicians – Caiaphas probably offered lots of it.  Christ told us to expect poverty, humiliation, persecution, and pain, and to know ourselves blessed through accepting them.  The good news out of Nazareth was never reassuring news by this world’s standards…For a long time we have been trying to make the best of both worlds, to accept Chrisitianity as an ideal and materialism as a practice, and in consequence we have reached a spiritual bankruptcy…Worldliness, we might  well admit, doesn’t seem to be working so well.  Perhaps it is time to revive otherworldliness?  Perhaps Christ was not only a lefty idealist counseling an impractical perfection, but also the Son of God?  And perhaps not only the Son of God but a practical counselor who knew what He was talking about when He talked of Heaven?  Perhaps it not enough to worship Him, flatter Him, give His preachers money, and decorate His alter-perhaps we ought also to obey Him.” (1)

That is the crux of the matter: obedience and trust.  It is not the bad decisions of a few bankers at the top that need worry us (although there is that). It is the decisions we have made about God that these circumstances reveal about us that should concern us.  It is time to look at how we think and how we live and how we treat each other in good times and bad that, in His love for us, God is reminding us of with the present times.  And here is the test to show where you and I stand:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

That’s the key out of despair: Our daily bread. We were never promised any more than that. That’s the “good news out of Nazareth”: not the physical first, but the spiritual. It is through that door that we gain entrance to real security, not the other way around.  It is not food that makes us secure, but a person.  So, right now, right this very moment, whether in your office or at home, let the fears you harbor about security and any despair you may have or be hiding over this current economic crisis come out.  Admit your anger.  Let the light of day shine on them and get rid of your burden.   Admit them not to the empty air, nor to your family nor your boss nor your friends on Twitter or FriendFeed or even over lunch….

Tell your fears to the only One who is capable of helping either one of us to have real security in good times and in bad: God.  It is in complete dependence on Him that our real security is found.  Then ask Him to help you and I to overcome the tendency we all have to put our trust in the things of this world.  Let us live with relative practicality as to the world but absolute trust in Him from now on (1 Timothy 6:17-19, 7-10).  Know that it is by God’s good grace that we have what we need.  Ask Him to help both you and I to accept the blessings of the real life which is only found in Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. – John 14:6

Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things that you have, for he has said, ‘I will never  leave you, nor forsake you,’ so that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.  Hebrews 13: 5-6

Till next time.

God bless you.  M. S. Reed, 2008, Dilseacht, le gra go deo | Share on FriendFeed

(1) Is Your Lord Large Enough- How C. S. Lewis Expands Our View of God, Peter J. Schakel, 2008

©ForthWrite, M.S.Reed, 2008


One comment on “Security and Despair and the Good News Out of Nazareth

  1. mellyreed
    October 25, 2008

    Author’s Note: This is why Christ makes the distinction in John 14:27 about peace that leads to real security: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus qualifies what He means by peace. It is not peace from present troubles whereby it is understood and accepted that only money and its acquisition by any means becomes the answer and salvation for those in the world. No, the peace Jesus speaks of is distinctive in nature from physical security that is achieved most often at the expense of our conscience. This heavenly peace is supernatural in nature, able to re prioritize the very nature of our fallen state that leans towards rationalized misbehavior towards each other to save our creature comforts at the price of the misery and wretched conditions of our fellow humans. On another level, it is also a peace that gives one the courage of conviction towards the Christ. It is a peace that transforms a frail, fallen human into a container of and a conduit for God’s light in a dark world.

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This entry was posted on October 11, 2008 by in Security and tagged .

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