My late pastor used to warn us against becoming ‘so heavenly minded, we are of no earthly use’.
I think the church which I belong to may have become what my late pastor had warned against. Take last Sunday for instance, while we were sitting in church listening in rapt fascination to an invited speaker telling us there will be Spaniards, Mexicans and Indians in heaven through a very animated sermon using a power point laden with every animation options available, we were totally oblivious to the fact, beyond the cosy little church we were all cloistered in was a nation gripped by two major events:
1. Whether a Bible-burning event called by people who were hell-bent on creating religious chaos in the country was actually going to take place – precisely at the time when the sermon in my little cosy church began! Mercifully the event was a non-event, thanks to the intervention of the authorities and level-headed people, and no doubt, the prayers of hundreds or maybe thousands of concerned Christians in not-so-disconnected churches who must have prayed for divine intervention.
2. Whether a 6-year-old boy who was left in a car with two other siblings by his parents who went to look at electrical appliances in a shop, who subsequently left the car to look for his parents and was never seen again, would be found and how his parents must have grieved and wracked with guilt and anxiety. The boy’s highly decomposed body was eventually found at a jetty 64 km away from where he first went missing. The social media was a buzzed with concerned netizens doing their civic duty in drawing attention to the news of the missing boy, all hoping against dwindling hope that by some miracles, the boy would be found safe and sound.
It was not to be and how we, the still-connected people, must have grieved along with the parents, trying to make sense of the tragedy.
The two incidents affected me deeply. They tell me that all is not well with my country. They tell me that the country needs much grace and healing.
I hope I wasn’t the only one who felt this way on that Sunday morning in church. It was all the more ironic because the theme of my church for the next four years centered around reaching out to the community around us.
I think we need to pluck our heads out of heaven and be relevant earthly people again.