The Pastor’s Pen: May 5, 2019

In 1927, a traditional American spiritual became an international bestseller 30 years after it was recorded. That spiritual was, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. The lyrics are, “He’s got the whole world in his hands; He’s got the wind and the rain in his hands; He’s got the little bitty babies in his hands; He’s got you and me brother in his hands in his hands.” With all that is going on in the world, it is a good time to remind ourselves that in spite of what seems like evidence to the contrary, God is in control. 

There are several realities that have caused our 21st century challenges. There is a crisis of truth in our society. Increasingly, our government puts out lies and insists they are factual. The Mueller report makes manifestly clear that the present Administration courted Russian help in the last election, now they deny that. Lies! They claim to be pro-middle-class, but all the initiatives offered up by the White House and the Senate are based on tax incentives for America’s wealthiest individuals. More lies!

Another cause of turmoil is ethnic and racial bias. The rise of so-called populism around the world is really a new nativism that holds the belief that countries of the Western world are experiencing economic downturns because of weakened immigration policies. The United States, Europe and portions of Mexico and South America have begun to harden their admission policies against Black and brown people.

Another root of today’s turmoil is economics. The emerging chaos in Venezuela is a case study of how in spite of that nation’s wealth of oil, Western powers have tightened the noose around them because of their politics, which are not favorable to the United States. We, therefore, watch in horror as protesters take their anger to the streets while opposition forces call for a military coup. Many of the problems around the world are not political, but economic. Africa remains a poor continent because richer countries deter poorer countries’ manufacturing because the U.S. and its global allies will buy a nation’s natural resources but will not purchase their developed goods.

Finally, much of the world’s violence and strife are the results of sectarian hatred. Sri Lanka is a case in point. On Easter Sunday, nearly 300 Christian worshippers lost their lives to terrorist bombs. More recently, a gunman entered a synagogue and murdered Jewish worshippers on the last day of Passover, and would have killed more if his gun had not jammed. So often we are drawn back to Rodney King’s words after the Los Angeles uprising, “Can’t we all just get along?”

With all the daily drumbeats of bad news, it is important to remind ourselves that God still has the whole world in His hands…and that will never change.