Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Woe Unto You Lincoln
Mat 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Reading the curses pronounced upon the cities surrounding Galilee; Chorazin, Bethsida and Capernaum, got me to thinking about the town in which we dwell, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
What would our Lord have to say if He were to ascend the elevator of our state capitol to the observation deck and survey our city?
I think He might note the church spires dominating the skyscape. I believe He would notice that ours is a hugely religious town, overwhelmingly "Christian" in name. Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists and the other brand name churches have done very well here. He might also see that Christian values which spring from His sermon on the mount are the norm here in Middle America. The majority of the people work hard, they try to love their neighbor, practice the golden rule and show compassion.
The name of Jesus is held in reverence by a good portion of our population. The gospel is not hindered here in the heartland. At any time you can listen to one of several stations playing Christian music or airing Bible preachers. All day long, public access is broadcasting church services free of charge for those groups with a camera and software. Our police chief is not shy about his faith. He rarely speaks without invoking the Scriptures. Our fire chief preaches the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Our most famous citizen, the winningest college football coach in history and former US Congressman is well known for his Christian testimony. Our longest tenured University football coach has a goal of preaching the gospel to every city, town and hamlet in the entire state, and is “getting ‘er done.” (A phrase made popular by the world’s current most successful comedian, a local boy, son of a preacher!)
Oh, to be sure, the enemy is also alive and well in our town. Besides his obvious haunts; the bars, the nudey joints, the concert venues, he likes to pay visits to the religious institutions where he does some of his best work. He uses these fine mid-western values against the eternal souls of his prey. If he can get them to thinking they are okay because of their lifestyles and ethics, if he can con them into trusting their own goodness, then he can convince them that they need not be born again. He makes them reason that, if they will simply trust in their religious heritage, their baptism and confirmation, if they keep the big 10 and go to church fairly regularly, dropping a few dollars into the plate, they don't have to become fanatics. He's happy with Brylcreem Christians, "A little dab'll do ya!"
So, there in the top of the Tower on the Plains, Jesus could overlook our mini metropolis and be pleased that His message of how to live is taken to heart and put into practice in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. However, as the sower three floors up above His head perpetually sows the seed of the farmer, He would have us to sow the seed of the true gospel, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8,9