I was struck a couple of days ago, while driving to visit my dying mother, by the tone of the normally-upbeat, smokey-voiced, DJs, as they discussed the Covid-19 crisis.
Seriously, solemn, the old self-confident, affirmation of post-modernity was gone. It was no longer "in this day and age!" This hollow boast was now replaced by a deafening, sombre, more-realistic, death-knell "at this time." And just a few moments ago, while catching Sky News, I heard the normally bullish, churchillian, PM of the UK, employ this so-statesman-like phrase.
It has been tragic that so many debates about truth, in recent decades, have increasingly been silenced, muzzled, sidelined and dismissed out-of-court, by the glibly arrogant proclamation "in this day and age." If I'm not mistaken, the King of Heaven has laughed - once more Homo all-too-Sapiens has been forced to rediscover the misery of the headline story of human history: "Men can propose but they are not ultimately in-charge"!
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill." I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him - Psalm 2:1-12.
It is remarkable how a pandemic, in the cosmos ruled by God's Mediatorial Christ, can cause the world to put life on hold, and reconsider time and eternity again. The Covid-19 toll has now racked up almost a million: multiples more have been suddenly left without income; politics is dealing with a contagious crisis; hedonistic society has been forced into home; and recently-booming economies now stare down two very long barrels at depression. "At this time" we desperately, and penitently, need to recover religion. Do we not have to confess that few have escaped the attitude which for a time was endemic in church? "This day and age" now seems harshly, brutally, and unthinkingly, so anachronistic.
This is a day of prayer and fasting on both sides of the pond. It is my prayer (as I sit at my mother's bedside side, as she is perched on the verge of a happy, holy, eternity), that the force of this truth would weigh heavily on all our hearts. Both in church and state may there be lowering of our pride in the invincibility of man. Oh that more princes, like the PM of Jamaica, would summon their nation to "Kiss the Son." Multitudes of lost souls are perishing in sin without submitting to God's King - may the LORD, in sovereign mercy, be pleased to hear our cries now accompanied by fasts. "At this time" put our feet back in "Old Paths!"