This has been a hot, smoky summer for many in Western Canada and a cool, wet one down East. Our country has also become divided, not just by weather, but by divisive viewpoints, opinions and comments. After lockdowns, restrictions, masking and the politics of it all, people are now divided on the issue of vaccine passports, elections and provincial differences on restrictions. Friendships have suffered, family dynamics have flared and the war on issues rages on social media and the news. I wonder what my role as a Christian is in all of this madness.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons and fed the crowds. In Mark 4, Jesus had just calmed the storm but the crowd chose not to go with Jesus and his disciples. In verse 35, “… when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side,” leaving the crowds behind.” My question is why wouldn’t the crowd want to go with him? After all, he had fed them, healed them, taught them. Why wouldn’t they want to follow him? When I do some research, I find that the other side of the lake was Canaan. The Jews regarded this as Satan’s land. Of course, they wouldn’t follow because again, of human division. Throughout history, there are always two sides.
I suppose that if I want to take sides, I want to be on God’s side. The best way I can be involved in all that is going on in the world today is to take a biblical stand. My energy, my emotions, my thoughts need to be directed by God. My prayers need to be for all the leaders of our communities, our province, our country to rule well and lead us in truth. Even though my views may not align with others, I need to commit to both sides. There are three ways I can do this.
First and foremost, I can and will pray. This is my first response, not my last resort. I can easily share my views with a post on social media, in a conversation over coffee with friends or rant to my family members. I can easily wake up complaining. I choose to pray instead. Throughout the bible, when a prayer was raised, God heard the people. Jeremiah 29:77 says, “Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Secondly, I can let faith define my lifestyle. I don’t need to get caught up in the political views of today, the racial divisions, socio-economic status and gender definitions. One only need to go back in history to see that there have and always will be men and women of faith in ungodly times. I choose to live with the Holy Spirit empowering me and follow the resurrection of Christ. I can encourage others, share scripture, help the needy and show that I can be a light in a dark world.
Lastly, I do not want to be confused about who has the power. Politicians, scientists and geologists can’t “fix” our broken society. Vaccines are not our saviors. Climate change can’t be fixed with a factory. People can change laws, but they can’t bring the dead back to life. When Christ died on that cross, there were two men on either side of him. Jesus changed hearts. He changed lives and He alone can change this planet. Revelation 4:11 states that, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by our will they were created and have their being.”
And so, when people ask about my opinion, stance or view on the wide variety of topics, I simply tell them, I stand on the Word of the truth. I am on God’s side and choose to love others despite our differences. Wouldn’t we all be better off, loving the Divine, not the division?