A large part of being One Nation Under God is remembering the "Under God" part. We all have so much going on in our daily lives already. Add to that a pandemic, social distancing regulations, violence towards others because of their political views, protests, riots, and highly contentious elections all across our nation- especially the presidential election- and our lives can easily become much more complicated.
As I sat in church Sunday, a joy and a privilege (a RIGHT) which many in our country are still being denied due to strict social distancing regulations (though it appears as though they do not apply to the politicians mandating these laws and their supporters who are protesting, both peacefully and "peacefully" within their states), I listened as our preacher spoke about getting ready for church. This led him into how everyone's lives have been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic; everything from how our children attend school, whether or not you are having to work from home now, trips to the grocery store, having to be tested for COVID-19 by one doctor's office just to be able to see your doctor at her or his office, and so much more.
Our preacher, Pastor Tony, then hit on an interesting point: whenever we get ready to leave the house, no matter where we go, we always check to make sure we have our mask. You never know where you may go that will require you to have a mask. "But what about God?" he asked the congregation.
We quickly give in to these, sometimes, senseless social distancing measures to appease those who regulate them. We do it so that we can gain access to certain stores; so that we may walk into a restaurant, tell the hostess how many are in our party, and walk 10 - 20 feet just to sit down and take the mask off; we do it so that we don't get fined. All this to appease or obey the instructions put before us by a man or woman who rule over our cities, states and nation.
What about our one true authority? When are we going to appease or obey God? This question that Pastor Tony asked- "but what about God?" really struck me. We remember to grab that mask and throw it in our pocket on our way out the door, but we leave God behind.
Now, please, don't take this as me arguing against social distancing or being required to wear a mask. I believe that many of this distancing measures are working, but I believe some of them are a little redundant and, at times, ridiculous. I also have some understanding in the argument that they are being used to suppress the economy and religion; that the virus is being politicized.
So many of us have that mask in our pocket, ready to pull it out and throw it on. How ready are we to pull out the word of God and put it to use? God is at work during these times, just as He has always been; if not more. Many churches have resorted to videoing their services and posting it to their websites or social media sites to reach their members; much of them are going live through social media. In doing so, these churches have noticed that many more people are tuning in to their services. Some small churches, which may usually see around 100 - 200 members each service, are now reaching several hundred to well over a thousand people! We are witnessing God take control of this situation, and we are seeing Him turn this pandemic into something good.
Gone are the days where Christians sit by, idly, and simply go throughout their day. Christians and churches all across the globe are beginning to push back or improvise in order to make the best of these difficult times. We need to make sure that we do our part. We need to "claim victory" and "stand up and shout the glory and victory of God," as Pastor Tony said, Sunday morning.
This morning when I opened my Bible app, I checked the Verse of the Day, as I always do (I truly enjoy the Verse of the Day and get so much motivation from it), it read, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise," James 5:13 ESV. Coincidence? I think not. God is at work and is looking to motivate us to work for Him.
If we are suffering, we pray; if we are cheerful, sing praise. We also pray for each other and sing praise with one another. We don't sit silently and smile. We don't sit in misery, sulking. We take action; we turn to God and ask for help or thank Him.
Pastor Tony also pointed to Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose," ESV. Loving God is part of what it means to live in Christ, no matter what we may be going through. When we do, God blesses us.
We should all do our best to do God's work. When we go out, we should carry God with us so that we are always prepared. Just as that mask is in our pocket, ready to pull out when needed, we need to make sure that we have God with us, ready to use as well.
It may be tough, at times, to do what God asks of us. I'm guilty of having backed down or avoided situations or confrontations myself, and I regret it. As Christians, we see the attack on God and His word all the time; we see it in the news, online, through social media posts, and in comment sections of certain stories and blogs. Instead of backing down, we should remember David and his message on fear in Psalm 27- I recommend you read it.