How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a locked-down land?
Holy Week and Creation: a comparison
God’s sixth love song for his creation
40 Blogs of Lent: Day 39
The first chapter of the Book of Genesis is theology, but not theology as we know it. It is not the theology of learned people using the academic language for academic people, nor is it a historical account. It is certainly not science. What it is is a statement of God of his love for the universe he created. “God saw that it was good.”
This is God’s love song for creation.
There is a correlation with the events of Holy Week, from Jesus entering into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to being in the tomb on the following Saturday. It is not a perfect correlation, but there is enough similarity to make looking at it interesting. The events of Holy week fall into line with the love song of God for creation.
This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
The day that a man made by God became alive is also the day that God become man died. Creation has been turned around. This is God’s love song for creation. This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
Creation rejects its creator. The creator of the universe, king of millions of galaxies is nailed naked to a cross of wood. God dies. This is God’s love song for creation. This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
God has not got it wrong, we have got it wrong. We have got it wrong. We see humility as a weakness, we see being passive as a weakness, but this is God’s strength and God walks before us, naked and ashamed the path we have to follow. Whoever will take up his life will lose it and whoever will lose his life will get it back.
God has the upper hand, he can see the end from the beginning, this was always part of the plan from before creation. This is God’s love song for creation. This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
But, to borrow a term from the people of Judah in exile, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” Psalm 137:4. Things have changed in the UK over the last six weeks and there are many other countries that are the same. Some people are isolated in their homes, others are stranded in a foreign country not knowing when air travel will be restored to get home. Everyone is in lockdown, being told to stay indoors except for shopping for food or medicines, and a maximum of one trip outside for exercise. Churches are closed over the Holy Week to Easter period. How do we join in with the love song of God in a locked-down land?
A lot of the advice being given, you can help your neighbours who are locked in be offering to go to the shops for them is good for some, but inaccessible to others. I am pleased when I hear that neighbours who were unhelpful are now giving old garden toys to their neighbours, good is coming out of this.
Others are not in a position where they can help, some disabled and those recommended to self-isolate. There are still those who cannot do anything but sit alone in their room to keep themselves and others safe. These people are doing as much as the ones who help their neighbours. Please stay indoors, stay safe.
Nearly five weeks ago, before the politicians started to take COVID-19 seriously I heard God speak through the words of a song:
I’m no longer a slave to fear,
I am a child of God.
These words have stayed with me, as have the many times Do not be afraid has turned up in scripture and across my web surfing. I believe that God’s message is one of trust, as his message to his disciples going into the passion, where they watched God die. Trust in God, this is not a defeat. God told the people going into Babylonian exile not to be afraid. There they were enslaved, abused, denied access to a place of worship, yet God promised to be with the exiles and 70 years later a different generation came back to their land and begin worshipping in a new temple.
What we are suffering is not as bad as the exiles suffered, but God is promising to be with us. Trust in God: Do not be afraid.
“Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you,
I have called you by my name, you are mine,”
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he[h] breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
Mark 15:33–39 ESVUK