Some of the diminutive verses in the Bible aren’t particularly life-altering. There’s Job 3:2: “And Job said”, and Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife”, and I Chronicles 1:25 which happens to be right in the middle of a genealogy: “Eber, Peleg,Reu.”
Others pick a serious punch like Deuteronomy 5:17, “You shall not murder.” And Deuteronomy 5:19, “You shall not steal.” There are short verses we can spend our lives trying to live out such as I Thessalonians 5:16: “Rejoice always” and the verse that immediately follows it: “Pray without ceasing.” (5:17)
Jesus was weeping over the city of Jerusalem, heartbroken by the spiritual blindness of his own nation. We may presume Jesus has been shedding real tears over our nation this spring.
We are in the midst of four crises:
- First, nearly 110,000 of our fellow citizens have died from COVID-19
- Second, more than a million Americans have filed for unemployment.
We are fast approaching a jobless rate comparable to the Great Depression.
- Third, our major cities are being torn apart by anger and violence sparked by the outrageous killing of a black man named George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. Peaceful protests are being fueled by the searing memories of other deaths where justice has not been served. Others, “who just want to see the world burn,” are escalating the crisis.
- Fourth, our political landscape feels like a wilderness. Civility is dead. Few elected officials speak for the common good. Polarization threatens the health of our Republic.
No wonder God’s heart is broken.
What shall we do?
The followers of Jesus cannot remain on the sidelines. Grab those short verses and make them your own:
- “Pray without ceasing” – because the world needs supernatural power.
- “Rejoice always – because God in the end is going to set everything right when the present moment seems painful.
Work for Justice. Comfort the grieving. Should we go Left? Or go Right?
Our real call is to go deep—deep in the teachings of the One who weeps over the brokenness of our cities. A Bible verse doesn’t have to be long or complex to change the world.
Just two words can change everything-including us!
Ron Naylor, Chaplain