On that Monday, 25 January 1999, when Saint Pope John Paul II addressed the multitude inside the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, he couldn’t have fathomed that, today, we’re all inside the belly of the beast, plagued by an ubiquitous pestilence; invisible to the naked eye with uncharacteristic omnipresence and seamless communicability, wreaking havoc everywhere.
These specks of ‘bad-news’ stealthily penetrate into our human spaces, piercing through the heart, literally and figuratively, striking us with unrivalled vigor and relentless staying power and unparalleled intelligence. We have yet to understand what we don’t know. Yes, if ever, leadership is the management of the unknown.
The Pope’s message ‘Take Charge with God’ is the message of the hour:
“The world we live in is great yet fragile; sublime yet profane and often confused. Though advanced in some respects but backward in so many others, this world – our world – needs Christ [God], the Lord of history, who sheds light on the mystery of humankind and guides us by his Gospel in the search for solutions to the chief problems of our time (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 10).”
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going. “They Worship and Praise” says the Apostle John throughout the Book of Revelation.
How long oh Lord? … How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul …? How long shall my enemy exalt over me? (Psalm 13: 1-2)
How long? The Apostle John doesn’t mince his words, doesn’t beat around the bush. He says it like it is. Just worship and praise (Revelation 15: 1-8)! In answer to the cry, “How long?” To the martyred souls he says, “wait a little longer” (Revelation 6: 11)! Seven angels of judgment get ready to do their work while the congregation sings a hymn. God judges. Christians sing.
Eugene Peterson: “Worship is the act in which we find our fragmented lives corrected and arranged into a whole and perfect offering to God – by the action of the Lamb, we become ‘spotless.’”
What happens in worship? After the hallelujahs and hosannas, shout AMEN! Now soak in the living water!
Amen means ‘Yes.’ God says “YES.” We respond to his YES by saying YES, YES, YES … AMEN!
Worship affirms. Good prevails, ALWAYS. Light outshines darkness.
Let’s shout our way out of the belly of the beast! Amen!
Covid-19 jolts us “to reconcile with God and each other.” (‘Christian Zionism … Enraptured Around a Golden Calf,’ 2nd Edition, Page 157; Kindle Locations 3200-3204)