For Wilshire Baptist Church
It’s hard to believe a week ago we were celebrating the cosmic wonder of a total solar eclipse. It was as if God was reminding us of his command and control of all that “was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end.”
And now a week later, with the remnant of Hurricane Harvey continuing to spread destruction and devastation across the Gulf coast, there are untold numbers of people experiencing what surely feels like the end of the world as they knew it. The God of the eclipse is also the God of the storm, and no doubt there are many out there who are taking it personally: Why us? Why now? What did we do wrong? Why are we being punished? Sadly, there are some on social media and elsewhere who are answering those questions in totally inappropriate ways – for political gain and theological claim.
I don’t believe the God that we worship on Sundays and pray to in our times of need is a God of wanton or punishing destruction. More than anything, our God is the God of creation and natural forces and with that there is natural cause and effect. God created humans to think and reason, and we have been drawn to the edges of the waters of the world since the beginning of time – for sustenance, for commerce, for recreation. We’ve used our God-given intellect to harness and manage some of that proximity, but perhaps the eclipse and now the storm reminds us again that we can’t control everything.
So we’re left with what we can control, and mostly that is how we respond in times such as this. Along with intellect and reasoning, God planted in us compassion and caring. I can feel it and I know you can too. Each of us needs to consider what we might do to help in the aftermath of the storm. It doesn’t have to be big; it must be real.
Perhaps a good place to start is to match the time and energy we put into watching the moon hide the sun last week. I took an hour off from work to watch the eclipse and I know that time has a monetary value. I bet I can give more than that.