A lament for the American Church in the time of cornavirus

Over the last couple of years I have toyed around with a book. I have a working title: “Living in Babylon.” Last year I sat down and put all my notes together so I could have some sense of what I had studied over the 2-3 years I had been picking at it.

As I write this, the United States has come to the cusp of 60,000 deaths from coronavirus. That is over the number of American lives lost in the entirety of the Vietnam War. In six weeks.

I have no blame to throw around. I have only lament.

As we are crossing that ugly line of death in our time, I went back to find a lament I had written for the American Church in my notes. It does not reflect directly on coronavirus, but I am compelled to write it out because we need to realize (and some point in time) the American Church has changed. We need to lament… and then we need to get moving forward.

So… here is my lament:

Lord, we have failed. We have succumbed to the pressures of power, thinking human solutions could being about justice and freedom.

We have had privilege since the founding of this nation and we have squandered that freedom. We have choked on the feast of “religious freedom.”

In our love of privilege we have lost sight of the Cross. The kingdom of this world became our god as we fought for “wins” as American Christians. We equated laws and judges and court rulings as your will… or rebellion against your will.

We have lost sight of our King and have made a throne for our own desires. We have lost sight of Kingdom priorities in pursuit of our own comforts.

Our dream of majority thought and privilege is just an illusion. Our privilege is gone and we gave it away.

A shift has happened, of our own making, and we mourn this loss. We mourn the loss of a common language of religion. We mourn the loss of privilege as Christians in this culture.

Change has happened.

Help us in this change. Forgive us of our arrogance.

In this shift may we see the King and his Kingdom once again! We need you, Lord! We need your grace. We are broken and in need of healing.

Help us NOT to ask for “our country” back. Help us to simply fall at your feet and ask once again: YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done!

Show us the way, O LORD. Amen.

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