Devastating events are unsettling and force people to confront matters they had not previously considered. Once events like 911, Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, or a war in modern times happen, people need to learn how to balance their lives based on the new reality. Consider the existing anxiety of earning a living, raising a family, rising gas prices, inflation, and staying healthy during a pandemic. In addition, the war in America, evidenced by domestic terrorists, is causing our emotions to be on edge, forcing us to consider the significance of our risks in daily activities. The rise of fear is perilous as Americans erect more silos of discontent entrenched in discord, not the social platform I just learned about, but disagreement.
Disagreement seems to be America’s new favorite pastime. How many 24-hour news channels do we have on television? How many talk shows do we have on radio, podcasts, or internet chat rooms? I believe that all of these talk platforms are designed to produce disagreement, discord, and division. And with division comes self-righteousness, and with self-righteousness, the need for control. Control to be the voice of trust in the overwhelming discord of 21st-century angst, isolation, information segregation, and distrust. We do not have explosive devices going off as we drive American roads or hear bombs exploding in the distance. However, we do have sound bites that ignite automatic reactions and explode emotions of panic, which exacerbates feelings of heightened anxiety and disagreement. I have a question, do the analyst on ESPN ever agree about anything?
I have another question, who remembers the song Déjà vu by Crosby Stills and Nash that asked whether we have done this before? Do you remember another Déjà vu song sung by Dionne Warwick, a love song asking the question, “could you be the dream I once knew?” Beloved, what happened to the dream that we once knew of peace, warm smiles given to strangers, a better world for all people, and apple pie that didn’t have trans fats, carbs, and harmful calories? Or was that God’s dream was that God’s plan for our lives, for humanity created in the Imago Dei, to live as equals, as neighbors. To live as God commands. To live a harmonious life because of the sacrifice of God’s Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ?
Beloved, I like the second Déjà vu song! I pray that the Holy Spirit reminds us again of how much the Triune God who calls us into a relationship loves everyone. That is what I will choose to remember the dream of harmony, the dream of reconciled relationships, and the dream of God’s universal and enduring love. Déjà vu 2, anyone?