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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture

2020

September

Friday, September 4th, 2020
Related Song

On our 6400 kilometer drive this summer, we passed more than a few derelict churches. The broken windows, overgrown graveyards, and peeling paint seemed to cry out to passersby: "God is dead."

Some churches have been awkwardly converted into homes. It's difficult to disguise the signature architecture of steeples and stain-glass windows. But for the others, grasses grew right up to the steps, birds flew in and out of windows, and in one church a small fox took up residence. Stepping in through doorways I was sometimes startled by a flurry of wings, which broke upon the silent mood of abandonment.

Across much of the west, congregations are dropping their chins and locking their doors. They can no longer carry out the task to meet in worship, and to bring light to their communities. Many have found themselves unable to stand against the taunts of culture. Our world insists that religion is old-fashioned, irrelevant, and archaic. People have stopped attending.

It probably doesn't help that Christianity has become associated with stubborn dogma, nor that many of our theological boundaries are associated with sexism, prudishness, and ignorance. Some of us have even forgotten how to communicate Christ's message of hope, peace, and joy, or have never experienced it ourselves.

Take a look at the words of Psalm 74! They could have been written for this decade, so relevant are their lines. For example, "We do not see our emblems; there is no longer any prophet, and there is no one among us who knows how long. How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand; why do you keep your hand in your bosom?"

Lord, we cry out to you to change our world. Bring back our ability to speak love and kindness, hope and purpose to a world that is desperately lost. The ground cries for deliverance! Do not turn your face from us. May the kingdom of God return to the earth!

Amen