Fried Eggs, Copper Socks, the Pandemic, and Jesus as LORD

 

Now that I’m working from home during the quarantine, I have Kinship Christian Radio on pretty much all the time.  But occasionally, my wife and I turn on the television.

 

I’ve hated the television for a long time.

 

I think it knows.

 

My wife found this great series called, “The Chosen” and it is truly wonderfully written, with faithfulness to Scripture yet excellent insight into the various personalities in the life of Jesus. The acting and production quality is also excellent –but there are only eight episodes so far.

 

Once the TV had us sitting there, and we’d watched all eight episodes of “The Chosen,” we watched them again. And then, because that was so good, the television somehow convinced us that there might be other good stuff on it.

 

It lied.

 

I found a channel that plays old Westerns, and those aren’t really so bad. Late one night, I even saw the John Wayne movie where there is a reference to “dog-faced pony soldiers.” The Duke had a mustache in it. It was either “Rio Grande” or “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” Not sure, but maybe Biden knows. Ummm… never mind.

 

My wife likes baking shows, and she found a series about “Britain’s Best Bakery.” It’s a competition to find (surprise) the best bakery in Britain. I learned about black pudding (blood sausage, eww) and the Oven-Bottom Stottie (A kind of bread. ) I was actually motivated to make an Oven-Bottom Stottie. It was pretty good. It’s also fun to say, “Oven-Bottom Stottie.” 

 

I have been doing so for days. 

 

With a British accent.

 

Oven-Bottom Stottie. Oven-Bottom Stottie.

 

Then there are times when, despite having 42 channels and access to literally thousands of internet-based viewing options, it’s an entertainment wasteland. 

 

But the real reason I know my TV hates me is because of the commercials. 

 

Over and over again, just as John Wayne is about to confront the bad guys, I am subjected (for the 99th time in two hours) to a four-minute diatribe on the dangers of talcum powder or herbicide or asbestos which has undoubtedly given me ovarian cancer or mesothelioma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which means I am entitled to millions, sometimes billions, of dollars if I will just call the friendly lawyers who are fighting like bulldogs or lions or wolves for my rights. 

 

And, if I owe the IRS more than $10,000 there’s a wonderful bunch of people who will get the IRS to accept a fraction of what I owe.

 

Then there’s the magic pill with the “man-boosting formula” and the other magic pill with “super-beta” herbal ingredient.

 

And let us not forget the endless stream of copper-based products which fry eggs as if they are floating on air and make support stockings that allow old dudes like me to dance the night away after a long day of being on my feet.

 

Oh, and car wax that makes a fried egg slide off the hood of your car like…well like the hood of your car was one of those copper pans. (I don’t know about you, but I just hate when I come out of the dance hall and there are a bunch of fried eggs stuck to the hood of my car.)

 

There’s also at least a half-dozen prescription medications for diseases I didn’t know I had, whose side effects seem far worse than the disease itself, but have really, really catchy jingles. 

 

And then, while you’re flicking channels to avoid the commercials, the “news” tries to suck you in. Remember when Ross Perot talked about the “giant sucking sound?” That was 22 years ago, and he was actually referencing American jobs being lost to NAFTA, but the giant sucking sound the media is making is the continued and relentless bad news about the current panicdemic.

 

I’m sorry. “Pandemic.” 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. People are indeed dying. COVID19 is a real disease and we absolutely should do things which are intelligent and thoughtful and reasonable to minimize it’s harmful impact on society. No one wants anyone else to die.

 

But we should resist the temptation to deal with it like late-night TV commercials where our solutions are based on hype and panic and fear. 

 

I agree with Kinship Christian Radio Executive Director Matt Dorfner as he wrote on this blog about a month ago. Many idols in our society have come crashing down. I believe that more people are paying attention to God and are seeking Him more diligently. (Tyndale reports a 44% increase in Bible sales over last year at this time. Other Bible publishers report even larger increases.) 

 

I have a friend who is a licensed Christian Counselor who works with people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He says he is dealing with people who “will die or are dying or are being harmed by physical- and mental health-related issues directly due to all the ongoing social and economic restrictions placed on us by our state and federal governments.” He concedes this is a double-bind situation, where neither the choice of isolation or being infected with the virus are anything anyone would want to choose for another human being. 

 

I have another friend who is an Adjunct Professor at Bethany Global University who pointed out in a recent podcast that no Christian ever has to say they are “living in uncertain times.” We know how this ends. Now, we may not know how this chapter ends, but we know God is sovereign over all and we know who is victorious in the end.

 

We know that Jesus Christ is LORD, just like it says on the radio tower above Kinship Christian Radio’s main office in Blue Earth.

 

And, if Jesus is LORD, He is also King, just like my friend the pastor in Litchfield said in his sermon on Sunday. 

 

So, the intelligent and rational and thoughtful thing to do is to pray

 

Just like Matt Dorfner said a month ago, “The solution is in repentance and trust. In repenting of our personal and the culture’s sins and idols and asking God, who is Lord over all… including Coronavirus…for His mercy and rescue.”

 

As people in positions of power and authority decide how we emerge from this and begin the process of starting society (not just the economy) back up again, they will need supernatural wisdom and guidance. Only God can do that, and only our prayers will avail them in this regard. If we have learned anything so far, it has become abundantly clear that human beings are not omniscient. Praying that He will direct the hearts of our leaders like streams of water in His hands would not be uncalled for. (See Proverbs 21:1)

 

And, in that asking through prayer, there should also be some listening. If prayer is a conversation with God, we would do well to remember that the mark of a good conversationalist is the ability to listen. I confess that I often (far too often) approach prayer as talking at God instead of talking with God. Listening in prayer is part of the repentance that flows out of the humility one experiences as a result of knowing who is God and who is not. 

 

So, while my television probably doesn’t really hate me, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t love me either. In and of itself, it is not evil and millions of people do gain some benefit from it.  (I have also learned the concept of “The Disclaimer” from late-night TV commercials.) But one of the reasons I began writing this blog so long ago was to give myself something to do other than staring at that box. The television may not hate me, but I know Kinship Christian Radio carries the message of the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, in teaching and preaching, in witness, and in song.

 

And I guarantee you will not hear one commercial that claims to make fried eggs slide off the hood of your car.

 

Today’s Praise

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

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