A time to weep, and a time to laugh, and a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4 NKJV

Are we facing another Civil War? This is not a time to celebrate. The Apostle Paul used hard words to correct the Corinthian church’s casual attitude toward internal immorality. Tough words are needed today as well. “You are so proud of yourselves,” he wrote, “but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame.” (1 Corinthians 5:2 NLT)

So, lest we fiddle while the nation burns, let’s bring back the Mourner’s Bench—that old fashioned altar where tears were shed. For this moment in our nation, weeping is more in order than stage managed acoustical rock music replete with flashing lights, changing colors, and smoke machines. Can we grieve over our nation’s distress? All lives matter! This includes 60 million unborn future Americans, of which about 20 million were African-American babies. Gone, destroyed are the future homemakers, teachers, truck drivers, athletes, artists, musicians, scientists, and peace officers. Does this matter? Can’t we sow in tears since we all want to reap in joy? (Psalm 126)

No, we do not want a church devoid of joy. We do not promote mourning. But our joy is hollow if we lose touch with the heart of God for a lost world. We do well to seek to know and feel what the Lord feels. He hurts when the world hurts.

The church can and should be a House of Prayer for all nations, all generations. Gross darkness covers the world. This can be our finest hour, when the light of Christ shines through us, bringing light in to the darkness. Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in Washington, DC ponders, “You have to wonder if the door to the current state of chaos in the nation was opened when the doors of so many churches were closed.”

In 2020, what manner of people ought we to be? James, the brother of Jesus, answers that question for times like these: “Lament and mourn!” He calls for us to be burdened with that which burdens the heart of God. “Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.” Thankfully he doesn’t end there with gloom. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:9-10 NKJV)

If we do humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways, He will heal our land. Then we will have just cause to celebrate, to laugh, and to dance.


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