*Trying to comment on today's world is difficult -- from WORLD MAGAZINE this cartoon sums up so well what I think
Published shortly after World War II, A Book of Days for Christians has been a reliable companion since I discovered it while estate sailing in late 2007. Richardson Wright’s book of mediations seems fresh – and applicable even though he quotes from Christians, most of whom are strangers to me. (My fault – not their’s.)
In 1951, the year the little devotional was published, the Korean conflict heated up – i.e., the backdrop of M.A.S.H. It was a time much like our own: we’d come out of two world wars, survived financial troubles; we now faced powerful adversaries. Television was giving itself awards – the Emmys. News of sports, entertainment, the Middle East, nuclear weapons and the arms race had precedence – religion, not so much. We didn't know all that Stalin was doing in the fifties.
In 2015, we’ve just been through the Super Bowl, the Grammys and a tribute to Saturday Night Live. Russia and the Middle East are still in our news – so is a different kind of arms race. A group of people is systematically and gruesomely murdering other people – and we are holding back from stopping it.
The reading for February 14 hit my heart. Describing a bauble that delighted his friends, Mr. Wright correctly described a familiar image – I have a fun necklace with one: three cute monkeys, one with hands firmly over his eyes, the next his ears, and the third his mouth that they may see no evil, hear no evil, nor, speak no evil. (pages 55-56) He goes on:
. . . Of the these three only the last makes sense. The other two are pretty poor ideals to follow.
Refusing to see or hear evil around us is sheer cowardice. We can’t say it doesn’t exist, we can’t just explain it away. We must face it boldly, whether it crops up at home, or in the office, factory, market place, government. The swift wrath with which our Lord chased the moneychangers out of the Temple followed on His seeing and hearing their corruption. Nor for a moment did He hesitate to accuse them of making His Temple a den of thieves.
The right emotion about sin can only be roused and sustained by the right emotion about God. ~ Kenneth E. Kirk
What is going on . . . it’s like seeing Hitler rise to power again, albeit in different garb – and hearing Neville Chamberlain declare, “Peace in our Time!”
Evil seems to pervade.
Sometimes it may be so astonishing we can’t believe or understand what we are seeing; sometimes, like a frog in a kettle, we are inured to its danger. There is still time to speak – and to pray that those who have been given the authority to govern will be men and women who understand the times. (1 Chronicles 12:32)
Meanwhile, reading though Leviticus is hardly reassuring me. “But, I didn’t know” is no excuse.