Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He uttered.
- Psalm 105:1-5
When is the last time you heard the name of the Lord used in public in a positive manner? People certainly mention conservative, right-wing Christians, frequently tagged as extremists, fascists, or what have you. Christians who agree with one another never need to qualify ourselves. Who says, “My friend, the conservative, right-wing extremist…”? If you believe Christ is Lord and the Bible is authoritative, then in all likelihood, so do your friends. You probably never think of yourself as a “conservative, right-wing, extremist” anything. That’s a descriptive moniker assigned by people who have different beliefs.
If we Christians are not portrayed in a positive light, how much more is our Lord thought about negatively? Or really, who thinks of Him at all? What reference is made to Christ Jesus in any respectful manner anywhere in popular culture? A great many people thinking nothing of using His name, and I hope we are not one of these. We hear it on the street, in stores and restaurants, in movies and videos, and just about everywhere else. “Jeeezus Christ!” I wish just one time, He would appear and ask, “you called?” But alas, Jesus is not an entertainer or trickster. He is the King of kings and Lord of all. Still, I think it would be funny, which is why He is God and I am not.
The absence of any meaningful reference to Jesus Christ or awareness of any faith in our discourse could be concerning. Certainly, there are many people of faith, but faith itself is treated as an aberration, at least publicly, as if its a mental infirmity or deficiency of character. But most of all, the near-complete silence about God reveals that many have either forgotten or never knew He exists. This is true among professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, but it is especially true – or strictly enforced – among educators from primary schools through universities, thereby guaranteeing we learn to think of life without God and without faith.
I draw attention to this because, if the world around us seeks to silence God, eventually we also will be deaf to His voice. If the society in which we live has no spiritual reference, not even the idea that God exists, that mindset inevitably infects our own. We begin to understand our lives without God and without faith. That which “everybody knows” becomes what we know, as well, unless we make the ongoing, intentional effort to stay connected to God and to one another. Moreover, as His children, we should strive to understand the world on its Creator’s terms – from its Savior’s perspective.
The problems the world identifies are vastly different from the problems its Creator identifies. One obvious example, I think, are the interminable warnings about overpopulation that we’ve been hearing for at least half a century. Stop and think about it… Does God give life and increase populations without the ability to feed people on the planet He created? Realize how contradictory faith in God and fear of overpopulation are. Do we really believe the God Who said “be fruitful and multiply” was unaware of what would be required to feed and sustain the human race? Because God is never caught unprepared nor surprised by His own creation, He would have us thrive and flourish, exactly as He created us to do. (In response to the peddlers of population-control, I encourage you to look into Superabundance.*)
God does not see a problem of too many people. Instead, He sees the problems of too much greed and selfishness. The desire to control resources and limit human freedom prevent human flourishing to a far greater extent than does population. Yet, how many of us have simply agreed that overpopulation is a serious problem? More importantly, how much of the assumption we accept is based on the views of authorities without any thought to the nature of our Creator, the God Who gives and sustains all life?
We need to be reminded and to remind one another that our God is more than enough for every challenge this world has faced or will ever face. We know that when we live in the broader reality of the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. Our lives are tied to the works of God in history and to the salvation of God through eternity. Living in the everlasting life of Christ – yesterday, today, and tomorrow – we are free to ignore the effort to render God silent.
Instead, let us fill the silence with thanksgiving to our God and make Him known by singing His praises. Together, we can seek His presence and glory in Him. Now is a great time to proclaim the goodness of our God and to tell the story of His faithfulness and the wonderful works He has done.
God cannot be silenced, but the world can teach us to be deaf to Him. We counter the world’s silence with stories of all our Lord has done for us, by singing His praise and letting our hearts rejoice with thanksgiving. We can make known to all the greatness of our God – our hope, our salvation, our provider and protector – our Father, the King of kings.
In Christ –
Rev. Elizabeth Moreau