Envisioning Easter 2020
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” – C.S. Lewis
“Better safe than sorry” is an overriding theme for individuals, businesses and governments struggling with the current worldwide health crisis.
“Better safe than sorry” propels the hoarding of consumer products, the cancellation of major sporting/entertainment events and the frenzied push to provide ample medical resources for a worst-case scenario.
As we enter the Easter season, I wonder if we can somehow squeeze “a right relationship with God” onto our priority list – now and moving forward in the New Normal. Can we adopt a “better safe than sorry” approach to Christianity?
Many “practicing” Christians darken the church doors twice a year, daydream during the sermon, skimp on the contribution, delegate all the good deeds to the preacher (“That’s what we pay him for!”), water down doctrine to legitimize their own shortcomings and never share the Gospel. Considering that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life,” what are the odds that the slothfulness I’ve just described will leave you “safe” rather than “sorry”?
Meanwhile, people who have drifted away or never quite embraced Christianity in the first place are out there merrily slapping together an eclectic collection of mix-and-match concepts and catch-phrases to forge their own nebulous “spirituality.”
Would you feel safe around an electrician or surgeon who tossed away his education and just did whatever “resonated” with him?
Then, of course, there are the people who are MILITANTLY opposed to Christianity. Maybe, just maybe, there is no Creator, no afterlife, no Judgment Day. But is it worth the risk just for the MOMENTARY PLEASURE of mocking prayer groups, driving people of faith out of the public arena or producing pornographic portrayals of the son of God? Pride may tell you that some jerk sneezing on your lettuce is infinitely worse than hellfire, but pride also has an unenviable track record of going before destruction.
Why haven’t we practiced our new-found pandemic skills in matters of eternity? We rush to the radio, TV or internet for a glimmer of good news about the health crisis, but we let our Bibles accumulate dust. When we’re intimidated by the language or symbolism of the Good Book, we flee rather than availing ourselves of Bible dictionaries and other aids.
Most of us have learned to practice “social distancing”; but unless we’re in a “Twelve Steps” program, we never think of shunning evil companions, enablers or immoral venues.
Despite our grumbling, we have adapted to 2020 ways of working, eating, getting an education and “attending” weddings and funerals. But let someone cramp our style with one little religious “thou shalt not” and a meltdown ensues.
The media and the authorities dutifully warn about virus scams, but it’s awkward nowadays to warn about the Prince of Lies. “If it feels good, do it” remains embedded in our self-destructive psyches.
We’re learning to identify “essential businesses,” but we seldom weigh the value of something as essential as our SOUL.
Yes, viruses and their economic impact call for bold, decisive action; but as the Empty Tomb captures at least the periphery of our attention, I hope we can learn from the business advice of Stephen Covey.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”