Where is God? This is the question most often heard when things are not going right in our lives or we hear of senseless fatalities or extreme unjustices. But I pose this question today because I can not find Him in ways that I could when I was growing up.
We live in a world that has misplaced God and we are not sure where to pinpoint the blame. Most baby-boomers remember when there were laws that businesses could not open on Sunday. Of course, those laws have long since been repealed. Then businesses began opening around one in the afternoon, leaving time for their employees to worship if they pleased. That option, for the most part, no longer exists. In many metropolitan areas, stores are beginning to make no distinction between Sunday and the rest of the week.
I also remember the time when most TV stations carried at least a Sunday morning worship hour at their own expense. The FCC required public service programming and some of that was devoted to religious programming. But, it too has evaporated into the cloud of what once was.
The content of most TV programs noticeably omits any scenes of church attendance, gospel songs, sacred book reading or any facsimile. If religion is mentioned at all it is usually sarcastic or as a joke. In one episode of the Simpson's, Bart is asked to say grace and he says, "Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing." Certainly, this is symbolic of the attitude of America's media toward religion today.
I can appreciate the fact that we live in a pluralistic society where we must respect the rights of those who do not serve the same God we do, but must God be a stranger in His own land? It is mind boggling that we have not at least learned from USSR that when you kill off God, you also kill off a society's values. People can not live by bread alone. Someone said and I agree, "It was not socialism that destroyed the Soviet Union, it was the absence of God."
Several years ago during the Christmas season, the city of Wauconda, Illinois had 2 large crosses illuminated on the water towers. This was a 43 year Christmas time tradition. One day, the council received a threat of legal suit on the grounds of separation of church and state; so they begrudgingly took them down. But the people of Wauconda were infuriated and took the matter into their own hands. They had the right to put up whatever they wanted on their own property, so all over that little community of approximately 6500 residents, they put up crosses, nativity scenes, stars and lights. Wauconda, Illinois never dazzled like it did that Christmas. It is said that you could see the city from the interstate freeway almost 100 miles away. All night it was as bright as day because the people decided to turn on the lights. They may have lost the battle but they won the war.
As far as I am concerned, that is precisely what is needed in our community and world today. We need to turn on our Christian lights. And when we do, we will discover that the same God who was present with our forefathers has been here with us all the time, but no one knew it because he was hidden behind the dark veil secularism.