I do not like that phrase. It’s kinda funny, but at my expense. It’s also kind of dismissive, and being marginalized by society is scary when you are of a certain age where all you see is physical decline and frailty as you look to your future. And falling victim to the “cancel culture” seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Wow, that just came out of me. I intended to write something light about some new word usages I’ve been noticing lately. I don’t mean to be a downer or show how easily I can be offended. Sorry! Perhaps I’m allowing words to carry more power than they actually do. I can only hope they don’t reveal an underlying contempt that might really be festering out there.
Words. Aren’t they fascinating? When I was growing up and discovering them for the first time, I assumed they were static things. I could go to our heavy Websters Dictionary and read page after page of words. I did spend lots of time doing just that, studying their definitions and noting how they were used in sentences.
Life was more simple then, or at least, that part of life. There was wordplay, of course. I remember when new words were adopted, like “groovy” and “copacetic”. But words like “woke” and “bespoke”* were verbs that were understood by all.
Somehow they have recently morphed into nouns. And how about this noun, “systemic”? I thought it was a medical condition, as in “systemic disease”. Now it is used to describe the condition of society. How about that word, “disease”? Break it down, and it means “not easy”.
I would say that we are feeling “not easy” as the pandemic continues to interrupt our normal lives. But believers expect the unease, and we can share hope because we live in two kingdoms. Luther describes them as the left hand and the right hand. As in: the left hand kingdom is where we are living now, as citizens of our countries. The right hand kingdom is the spiritual realm that God rules. We are also living in that eternal kingdom now, saved by His grace.
The left hand kingdom has the systemic disease problem. We will never cure it, because we are born into sin, and sinners can’t achieve perfection. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do our part in building stable societies in which to nurture future generations. But try as we might, looking to ourselves and the government to fix the systemic problems once and for all just isn’t gonna happen.
The World Needs Jesus. He is the only way out of our diseased condition. When we are born again into His right hand kingdom, we are given the power of the Holy Spirit to live out our days in this left hand kingdom, come what may.
Because it is in the right hand kingdom where we find peace. Cured of our diseases by imputed righteousness (Thank you, Jesus), we find that we can truly rejoice in all situations. The right hand kingdom frees us from the law, although it does have one requirement: The commandment to love one another as Christ loved us.
This would be my definition of “woke”.