Searching for Biden
Am I the only one who has wondered what has become of Joe Biden? Until two weeks ago, he was all over the news as the expected Democratic party nominee. Before Biden, it was Bernie Sanders. Both, it would seem, have been supplanted by a virus. How has this happened? Beyond the pandemic, let me suggest a more fundamental reason that is well-illustrated in John 4. It’s the difference in what’s temporary and what’s eternal, and it emerges in the conversation Jesus had with a Samaritan woman:
“’Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water‘ (John 4:14-15).”
If I could give you one reason above all to limit your exposure to media during this time, it would be simply this: only eternal truth will satisfy. By truth, I mean that which is permanent, significant, life-giving, and hope-inspiring. Clearly, truth can be found in various media forms, but by nature, daily news can only report facts and figures. It can only provide opinion, probability, and—as anyone who has read the news can tell you—will always do so with the motive of keeping you coming back for more. In that sense, it’s a little like the water Jesus describes in John 4: “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.”
Though daily news is different than life-sustaining water, they have one thing in common. If you live your life only for these, if this is what you meditate on, not only must you constantly return them, you may never realize how unsatisfying they really are. Media may distract; it may help you pass the time; it may actually help in moderate doses. But there’s a very real danger that many will never realize that what they’re imbibing was never designed to answer serious questions and meet fundamental needs.
Jesus offered the Samaria woman a type of water that would satisfy more than a physical thirst. As He pointed this out to her, she was immediately interested. Why? In her own words: “so I don’t have to keep coming back here to draw water”. Though she was a little confused, she would soon find in Christ full satisfaction and would no longer need the passing pleasures of this world.
As you read the news, realize that fundamental questions are not being asked, much less answered. May we never give ourselves to daily, passing details when Jesus offers eternal truth. Today’s news is the virus. When this ceases to be, Biden will return. Then more politics. But long before and long after the news, Christ invites us to Himself for eternal satisfaction, peace, and joy.