Corona Confidence

Maps can be both confusing and comforting. While some folks love them, others find them too much work and frustrating. First, maps require orientation. That is, you need to establish where you are, and know how that relates to where you hope to go. Second, maps don’t tell you which road to take, so you are forced to make choices.

We face a similar dilemma when we open the Bible. It, too, requires us to determine where we are in God’s plan. We are not asked to build altars or follow a cloudy pillar. We are not told to conquer a land, quarantine lepers, or refrain from planting crops every seven years. Rather than stoning adulterers, we forgive them. How can we tell?

Here’s where making choices comes in, but we are not left to our own devices. The Bible is the story of an orderly progression of covenants with unfolding layers of both principles and promises. Absolutes remain. Adultery, murder, and stealing are still wrong because they were wrong even before the stone tablets were engraved. What to do?

The Pharisees were masters of the turn-by-turn, always shouting directions in your ear on how to keep various laws. But when they asked Jesus why He healed on the Sabbath or why His disciples didn’t wash their hands as the rabbis did, He pointed to the ultimate purpose of the Law they had missed, namely, love for God and your neighbor.

This is why the Bible and the Gospel it proclaims “work” in every nation and every culture and subculture. And that’s why it’s such a steady Guide for us. Going forward, we are being asked to adapt, to do some things differently, and find “new wine skins” for the new wine.

The commands to love God and neighbor comprise a perfect grid for confident compliance. We are not being asked to deny our faith, and remember, our neighbors are watching our response. Let’s not mumble or grumble, fear or fret. Reread Romans 13, and see what you think.

“Father, help us do good for our communities by loving others because you have first loved us. Help us lead the way in love and compassion for all around us, as did Jesus. In His name. Amen.”

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