I would imagine that for some 2020 will be remembered as the year of the Covid-19 virus; a menace which ravaged the land and altered the course of history. For others, it will be considered a benchmark year in which civil unrest was a cry for reform, if not revolution. For others, I would suppose it will be marked as a year of some other sort of devastation, and for some … to be fair, for some it may be a year of notable good, few as those people may be.
For me, 2020 will be a year that I remember as saying “good-bye.”
Good-bye to most sports, agendizing sports that have positioned themselves as a moral and social conscience of sorts. I will bid adieu to some businesses whose ideology is out of step with mine. I will wave goodbye to some churches whose lampstands have altogether gone out. I will rid myself of the influences of some notable “pastors” and theologians, and some authors who are no longer “safe.” I will say farewell to many channels of so-called news, many magazines and publications (even supposedly Christian ones too) which have lost their Gospel direction… A healthy “Good-bye” to social media, and certain “friends” on social media. I will say “So long” to certain notables in entertainment, and the business world. And, “Good riddance” to some articles of clothing in my wardrobe representing brands with which I no longer choose to be identified.
As a nation, we will say good-bye to certain elements of Democracy as we have known it: to decency, integrity, honor; to the way we have worshipped; to the way we greet each other and socialize; to the way we shop; to the way we do gymnasiums, amusement parks, restaurants, and a hundred other things; to a certain measure of respect for the decisions of governmental authorities. It seems clear the blunt force trauma of 2020 will be felt from here on out.
And, 2020 will be remembered for saying good-bye to some fellow sojourners on the road of life.
We look for a voice, or voices of reason, but many are muted. And even if permitted to speak, ears are deafened. The cries and demands in anger usher in an uneven measure of civility. This present age continues to divide those who embrace biblical truth from those who are swept along in the present tides of culture. Satan continues about his business of gathering fruit, the low-hangingfruit of the Evangelical Left (and a few from the Right!).
In summation, we will say good-bye to any semblance of what has been our normal. It seems clear that next normal will be something other than the normal we have known. As we live in a world which increasingly reveals the brokenness of sin, I can only wonder if this age will usher in the Last Normal.
I realize that we cannot boycott every earthly good or agency which has been tainted by sin. To do so would be to isolate ourselves in a lonely environment of one, still smeared by the greasiness of our own sin. We will not be completely delivered from the curmudgeon’s “smudgeon” (Satan’s curse) until the Day of Glory.
Yet, our hope, Church, was never in these things; was it? This home was not the lasting city in which we were to dwell (Hebrews 13:14).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews points our hearts in a different direction altogether (Read Hebrews 6:9-20).
Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
To the “heirs of the promise” (that’s us!), our hope was never in earthly things; our hope is rooted in the “things that accompany salvation” (Hebrews 6:9), the things which have been covenanted by God, and to which God has sworn an oath “by Himself” to deliver (Hebrews 6:13), and “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). The full assurance of hope eclipses all these earthly vanities and dross. Instead we “take hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).
What is that hope? … entering in to the nearness of God, the presence of the Almighty… forever!
In the onslaught of a testing year, our souls can be assured! Our souls can be secure, that as we follow Christ, He faithfully leads us within the veil to the Journey’s End, Throne of Grace.
It is the promise of God; it is the anchor of our soul!