“It’s all academic!”
Ever heard this phrase? Maybe you’ve even used it. If I had to define it, I say it means something like, “We can study it, but we can’t change the reality of it.”
An example might be something like: I like football, in particular the New Orleans Saints. Not too long ago, the team was battling to win the NFC Championship game, when in the last few moments of the game there was a really obvious missed call that cost the Saints the game. I know, I know, you are saying to yourself, “Get over it Pastor it was two seasons ago…” Or you might be thinking, “It doesn’t matter, at this point it’s all academic. Game over.” It’s all academic. The results of the game won’t change. Nothing is going to change that reality. Even if the whole city of New Orleans felt cheated. It’s all academic at this point.
Today, we find ourselves in a global crisis. Trying to understand the virus so that we might reduce its effect is very important. Thank God for all those working to keep us safe and healthy. I have faith that God will bring us through this together. Yet, amid this challenging time, I find the beginning of the Gospel of John comforting.
In the Gospel of John, he starts it with: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (NIV)
John tells us that God existed before everything. God created everything. God gave us life and sent “light” (Jesus) who conquered darkness. John had first-hand experience with the “light.” If we think back in our lives, maybe you are like me and see that my life has been radically shaped by “the light” that shines through the darkness; both the darkness I created for myself and the darkness of life’s situations that I found myself in of no fault of my own.
In reality as I’ve experienced it, I understand some of what John is describing as his experience with the light. Over time, I have learned to trust the “light” and my faith and confidence in the “light” has grown. Life unfolds, moment by moment, day by day. In the reality of life’s unfolding; we can all find this “light.” No matter the situation – joyful or painful. short or prolonged – this “light” continues to forgive and redeem; fill with a peace that surpasses understanding; and, provide eternal security. The rest is all academic. Nothing is going to change that reality!