I’ll give you three guesses … go ahead … three guesses on what the cover picture to this devotion is.
Nope … this is a picture of the tape we had used to mark off the church sanctuary when we opened up worship on June 6th. We taped off every other pew as a help to worshippers in staying socially distanced. A few weeks later, when we eased this rigid form of social distancing and decided to remove the tape … and unbeknownst to me … the sexton and one of his helpers started taking off the tape, and decided to wrap it into a ball to see how big it would get. When he was done, the sexton brought this into my office to show me what he did with the tape as it was removed from the pews. All I could do was laugh, and marvel at his playful creativity. Later in the day, when I returned from some visits, I found this “tape ball” on my desk … and I laughed again.
There has not been a lot to laugh about during the pandemic. However seriously (or not) you take the pandemic, it is hard to minimize the more than 624,000 American deaths from the virus, along with the more than 4.1 million world-wide deaths. As we slowly re-acculturate ourselves to whatever our “new normal” of life will be, we cannot completely forget to trauma brought to the world by this virus.
But as Christians, we strive to acknowledge that no matter what the world throws our way in terms of adversity, we are not defined by that of which life in this world consists. We live in this world … but we also await a world beyond this one in which God “makes all things new.” Martin Luther – another firm believer that neither Satan nor any evil power held any influence over our lives – wrote these words: “I often laugh at Satan, and there is nothing that makes him so angry as when I attack him to his face, and tell him that through God I am more than a match for him.”
As you pray and reflect on your faith this week, remember Luther’s words, and the courage God grants us to not be defined by the trauma of the world. Remember that God allows us to laugh at the world, and the evil spawned either intentionally or unintentionally (as in the case of Covid-19). Because we are indeed more than a match for Satan. We are children of God. And no evil can erase that identity which God bestows upon us.