Nine months and counting. NO, I’m not pregnant. But that’s how long we’ve been in this time of quarantine. Sure, it has varied from strict lockdown to braving hybrid “in-person” events. However, nine months is nine months, and that’s a long time to go without a birthday party. Without an in-person worship service. Without kids in “real” school. Without a cup of coffee. Just kidding, that would be absurd. But it’s been nine months. And in all seriousness, I have two questions for all of us.
First, what are you worshiping? An odd question for certain, and one that I think we are either afraid to answer honestly or—perhaps even more alarming—we don’t ask at all. You can tell from my attempt at a joke above that using caffeine as a crutch to get through the day is, in a sense, a form of worship. Speaking only for myself, it means I’m not getting enough sleep. Which means I’m not going to bed early enough. Which means I’m not stewarding the time in my day all that well. It also means I have three boys five and under, but that’s beside the point.
In going through Genesis this year with Bible Study Fellowship, I was struck by a detail in the description of Ur, the land Abraham was called out of. Archaeological findings have discovered that Ur was quite an advanced society. Found in remains were evidence of infrastructure including schools and even business contracts. Also found was a “stair step” pyramid meant to be a shrine to the “moon god,” Sin. Even in ancient Ur, people could not help but worship, as we image-bearers were created to do. For the people of Ur, it was the moon. So, what is it for you? What do your thoughts, words, and actions say about what and who you worship?
My second question is this: What does your neighbor know about you? Do they know what kind of car you drive or where you work? Do they know who you voted for? Do they know you love Jesus? How does your neighbor know that you love them as you love yourself? (Apologies, that was several questions.)
Here’s the thing. If these two questions make you cringe a little bit, you are not alone. They make me uncomfortable, too. The year of 2020 has been utter chaos. And that’s likely an understatement compared to how it will be described in history books. God knows it’s 2020. This is not a surprise to Him. And if we believe His word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), then we should be hanging on to these verses found in Matthew 22: 34-40.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If “all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”, then we probably can too. It is 2020—that’s a truth—but the greatest commandment hasn’t changed. God commands us to love Him with everything we have, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us finish 2020 with grace and humility. Like we draw supernatural strength and peace from an unseen source. Like we have a Father who sits on the throne in heaven.