I have been in a state of sadness and lamentation for the past two weeks over news alerts regarding the brazen shoplifting in California, the ongoing shootings in schools and shopping malls, as well as the man driving his SUV through the Community Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I feel like screaming “please tell me this madness is not happening”. But it happened.
At what moment I ask, does our country lose its virtue of goodness? And once again I cry out, “O God, please help me”.
I am convinced that only by knowing the goodness of God will it be possible to find peace and forgiveness in this time of apparent despair that we are currently living in our country.
There is a story in the Bible of a man named Moses who had been on the holy mountain with God for 40 days when he asked God if he could see his face. God told Moses that he could not see his face, but would pass by him and pass all his goodness before him. “Then the Lord descended in a cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed before Moses proclaiming: “The Lord, the Lord, the merciful and merciful God, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin ”(Exodus 34: 6-7).
In this story, Moses witnessed and experienced the attributes of God, his compassion and grace, his love and faithfulness, and perhaps most important to us now, his forgiveness.
Through the Spirit of Christ, we too can manifest the attributes of God’s goodness. A very useful scripture is 1Corinthians 13: 4-7, “Love is patient, love is good, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not selfish, he does not get angry easily, he does not keep any record of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always confides, always hopes and always perseveres. “
We can say, “wow, that’s a great expectation to live”. Indeed, it is huge. I believe, however, that as we live in his love, the character of love grows in us. Are you praying with me that the goodness of God will become a reality in our country? And it starts in our own hearts.
Roger McCune is the pastor of Thorp Community Church.