15 Then He said to them,
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
By Bro. John L. Cash
I’ve been to a lot of church services in my life, and I’ve heard a lot of people lead in prayer. Something I’ve heard prayed a lot of times is this: “Lord, bless our nation. Send the things that will help us to be a Christian nation again.” Have you ever heard someone say that? I’m sure I’ve prayed that myself.
Well, Christian friends, here’s our big chance. Maybe COVID-19 is the thing God has sent to make us a more Christian nation. But, let’s get some working definitions before we start. What exactly does it mean to have a Christian nation?
To be fair, the Church of the New Testament never existed in a Christian nation. And it never expected to. Christians were never the boss of anything, and the Roman empire never catered to the whims of the early believers. Instead, the first followers of Jesus were persecuted, tortured, and put to death. They accepted this as the will of God, striving to keep the teachings of Jesus in the midst of their sufferings. They accepted this as the plan of God.
In my way of thinking, maybe our return to being a Christian nation will be when believers begin to live out the teachings of Jesus. I’ve spent my life teaching the Scriptures. And here’s the amazing thing. What people think Jesus taught and what He actually said are two entirely different things.
So, since you’re quarantined because of the coronavirus (and therefore have some extra time on your hands) take some time to read the words of Jesus. Get your grandmother’s Bible, the one with the Words of Christ in red ink. And for a spiritual exercise, just read those words. I think you’re in for a big surprise.
Several years ago there was a movement that said WWJD: “What Would Jesus Do?” This time let’s change it a little. Let’s say WDJS: “What did Jesus Say?” Because, indeed, He said all sorts of hard things.
And once we’ve read the red-letter-words, let’s begin connecting them to the way we live. Instead of all the strife on social media, we could remember to “Love your enemies, and pray for them.” (Matthew 5:44) Instead of grabbing all the toilet paper in the store we could, “Beware of greed in every form. A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) Instead of judging others and looking down on them, we could look at ourselves and pray “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” (Luke 18:11)
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” COVID-19 is our big chance. Let’s make sure not to blow it.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the Preacher uploaded video lessons for his high school English students this week) You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.