by Rev. M.Barnes, Former Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Warsaw
God to Adam and Eve: “It’s all about Me!”
Devil to Adam and Eve: “He lies! It’s all about you!”
Adam and Eve: “Yes! It’s all about us!”
Adam to Eve: “Actually, it’s all about me!”
Eve to Adam: “Actually, it’s all about me!”
Cain to Abel: “Actually, it’s all about me!”
Etc, etc, etc.
And so it began, that long dark journey down a road paved with the bricks of bodies and the mortar of blood of those who stand in the way. “It’s all about me!” is the title of the drama. Over the generations it has had its ups and downs. The ups happened when God’s assertion that it is all about Him was taken a little more seriously and people saw past the ends of their noses to a God who loved them and to a people whom God loves. The downs happened whenever God became irrelevant, more of less, in the eyes of the beholder and the right to that irrelevancy for others was seen as the highest good. Both have had their various permutations in the course of the story. And so society ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes, rises and falls. And this according to the extent that we accept, or reject, the One who originally said: “It’s all about Me”.
Today we are seeing the low side of that drama playing out. And frankly, it is more than a little disconcerting. The “it’s all about me” of our hearts has given us the very things that destroy societies, and is purposefully taking away the very things that build up societies. I could make a listing of the issues, but even with brief commentary on each the current context would make it prohibitively long.
In the long run, freedom has lost its meaning. Freedom to love God has been used as freedom from God. Freedom to love your neighbor has been used as freedom to use your neighbor for your own gain. To be sure, there is a remnant who have not bowed down and kissed their own feet, who have not turned their backs on the very things that uphold society. Unfortunately, even if it happens that the remnant is the majority, the majority has fallen silent. Whether out of fear of reprisal or simply being tired of the struggle.
What this means is clear enough. It has happened before, and it will happen again. Society is dying, our society. The cure is either death, and the replacement of what once was in a societal resurrection, or a radical treatment that calls us to repentance and listening to the One who alone has the right to say: “It’s all about Me.” The great thing about Him, He is all about forgiveness.