Grace, Mercy and Peace to you from God the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ,
We see lots of commercials and hear radio spots reminding us that we are all in this together – that we are on a journey through the COVID-19 forest and that we will fight our way through, and that nothing can stop us if we all pull together, and promising that we will emerge, not only victorious, but stronger, wiser, and healthier, and in the end rise from our trials, a better world.
I’ve heard politicians, actors, sport’s figures, entertainers and scientists all make these claims, and ironically, it seems to be a familiar campaign. Old mottos and catch-phrases, hashtags and unifying themes are resurrected, and new celebrities with old public service announcements about pulling together pop up all over the place. Generally speaking, these spots, intended to rally the people, are humanistic, boasting of the things that men and women cannot hope to achieve without God’s grace, and are rather hollow sounding as they echo down through the corridors of time and history. The name of God may occasionally be thrown in for sentimental effect, but the idea of real dependence is usually avoided.
Well, praise God that we are on a journey together that doesn’t depend on the triumph of the human spirit to be successful, but on the power, wisdom and goodness of God – a journey that we are not on alone and which does not depend on our ability or strength to make it successful. A journey that we were called to take up, not by force, but by the love and grace of God.
We dwell in this world, like Abraham, as strangers and foreigners, moving through it together as the heirs of promise. We are waiting for that city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Like Abraham, and all the men and women of faith who have preceded us in this journey through this world, we see the promises, are assured of them by the grace of God, and embrace them, confessing that we are strangers and pilgrims on earth.
Hebrews 11:1, 3 & 6 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This hope doesn’t rest in us, our faithfulness, our works, our pulling together, but in the faithfulness of our God and Father, the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion that we have with God the Holy Spirit every day.
We’re marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
We’re marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.
Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
The men of grace have found
Glory begun below;
Celestial fruits on earthly ground
From faith and hope may grow.
Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds on high.