Our times oppress us. Tonight’s news focuses on the inhumanity of the LAX killing of a TSA agent. Other news covers the extra security of the New York City Marathon resulting from the explosive pressure cookers at the earlier Boston Marathon. Growing secularism pushes the practice of faith to the periphery. Radicals killed more Christians, for being Christians, in the last century than all combined. A climate scientist just stated that some climate changes may be beyond the point of reversal. Let’s not even address the uncertainty that circles the roll out of Affordable Health Care!
And many Facebook friends bemoan current conditions, conveying a sense that nothing can be done.
They may be right.
And I don’t care.
Well, I do care. But I care more about the sense of hopelessness that permeates much of our world. An epiphany in worship this morning clarified some issues for me. The pastor directed a baby dedication, and the serious questions he asked the parents, who answered with a firm resolve, brought a sense of hope. Doesn’t the birth of every child proclaim that God still has hope for the human race? Don’t the promises of caring parents proclaim that individual lives can be changed? I smiled, and hope grew within.
But hope also comes from higher sources. If we had nothing beyond the material world and its trajectory, despair would be a normal response. But so many Facebook friends seem to ignore the spiritual dimension of life. They miss the hope that a deep belief in God’s involvement brings. God won’t stop all evil from occurring. Never has, never will, until Jesus returns. I don’t intend to resolve that question on the problem of pain.
But I do want to remind myself, and perhaps many of you, that if God is for us, who can be against us? Obviously, Satan is. But compared to God, who is he? Defeated. Our God is the one who works in all things for good. Even the bad. Sometimes, especially the bad.
The rainbow was God’s original promise of hope. Make each smile of a child a reminder of that.
Kick Starting the Discussion
Have you felt overwhelmed about the direction of society? What most distresses you about it? What keeps you from living a life filled with transforming hope? How can hope change your life in this coming week?