Western society – especially the white, European, inner city, educated elite – is little more than a secular-atheist backwater when compared to the vast ocean of faith and religious fervour that dominates most of the planet.
And this was clearly on display last week with two major events bringing God to the front pages of newspapers and onto prime time television.
Sweeping the planet from Rome was the ardour of Mary MacKillop’s canonisation which eventually overcame the most cynical media hack and had them sincerely discussing miracles, faith, worship and the value of a genuinely humble, self-sacrificial life.
Simultaneously we had the remarkable rescue of the Chilean minors and 90 point headings on major Australian dailies screaming, ‘GOD AND THE DEVIL FOUGHT OVER ME AND GOD WON!’
With miners falling to their knees in thanks to God there was also the matter of the t-shirts which at least 24 or so of them put on especially as they made their way again into human society.
The shirts read ‘Gracias Senor’ on the front, Thank you Lord, but it was the back and even the sleeves where things got interesting.
On the back was Psalm 95:4 which in English reads, ‘In whose hands are the depths of the earth. The peaks of the mountains are His also.’ Below that they read, ‘To God be the glory’. Finally, on the sleeves, they shirts said simply, ‘JESUS! – which was actually the logo for the Jesus film which some of the miners listened to while trapped beneath the earth.
Christian Maureira, national director of Campus Crusade for Christ in Chile, who helped provide the shirts, said the miners wanted to recognise and thank God publicly as the world watched the rescue.
Read the full story about the Chilean miner’s shirts. And, below, watch one YouTuber’s tribute.
In the meantime, it didn’t take much time for the faith flood to recede and the backwater to assert its murky self. Ethics classes competing with Scripture dominated headlines this week – yet another trendy inner-city idea.
Perhaps I should move to Chile, afterall, I’m often mistaken for being South American…