Nov, 18 2020
Seems these days, and rightly so, we can’t turn on the news without hearing the daily Covid updates, the hopes and advances in the search for a vaccine, and the fall out we continue to face from this pandemic. We’re finding ourselves living - for almost 9 months now - in this public health crisis. Found myself thinking of that as I reflected again on the question we looked at on Sunday Aren’t We Better off Without Religion? Or Aren’t we better off without Christianity?
If you tuned in on Sunday, you heard the stats that we might not be - simply from a health crisis perspective. The stats that indicate those who find themselves in church or a service of some kind - once a week - are generally more optimistic dealing with less anxiety and depression than others; they’re less likely to divorce or to deal with the issue of addictions. Along with that the studies tell us they give 3.5% more to charities - they volunteer more - and they're 1/2 as less likely to be involved in domestic violence. As I hear those stats, I find myself thinking they sound like so much of what I hear that will better our societies, our province - our city.
So while secularization has put forth the idea and notion that the world would be a better place without religion - Christianity in this case - the stats have shown that to not be true. I found it interesting how Rebecca Mclaughlin in asking Francis Collins of the, director of the national institute oh health in the US, if it would be right, in light of this, to state that secularization is a public health crisis. To this Collins answered yes!
Thinking in that vain, it’s like we have these two public health crisis’ colliding at the moment. We have Covid wreaking havoc in our lives regarding our health and the devastation that we’re seeing - and we have a growing number of people dealing with anxiety and depression and people less optimistic and probably less thankful as secularization has made it’s way in to our culture - giving many very little hope in the chaotic times we live in.
Well if you did join us on Sunday, you heard Andy greet us with the words from 1st Peter chapter 1 where Peter writes:
Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
This idea that we’ve been born in to a living hope, through Jesus Christ. This hope as and reality as Andy mentioned, that has brought so much change to many people, and a change for the good. Finding hope not in the public health crisis of secularization, but in the precious blood of Jesus, giving them hope and and a foundation to walk through the public health crisis that is Covid19.
NSC, as we think about that this morning, I want to urge you in two ways. Peter tells us on more than one occasion in this book - that we’ve been chosen by God. Does that just grip you! Oh I encourage you, dwell on that incredible truth once again. And secondly, for those that have not come to know this wonderful reality - be in prayer for them - that God would ransom them from the ways that seem meaningless and hollow, and bring them in to a living hope - a hope that would allow them to navigate with greater strength, the trying times we find ourselves in. I invite you to join the prayer for the advance of the gospel this Sunday.
Love you church and continue to pray for and miss you through these times!!