It is so tempting to withdraw into cynicism after all the events of the past few weeks. We might ask ourselves, “Is there still hope for our world?” “Can any person or society still speak positively of our universe?” It might seem all that is left is for the Great Judge to bring his swift judgment and put an end to all the mess we hear and read about daily.
Well, there are two things that I think need to be considered. Firstly, as Sam pointed out to Frodo in the book and movie The Lord of the Rings, and our own careful reflection will confirm, there is still much that is good in our world. It’s not all bad. God hasn’t abandoned his world. We still enjoy his goodness in the gentle morning breeze, the soothing rain, the smiles and care of our loved ones, the tokens of love we find in a good meal, music which delights and inspires, the opportunity to do meaningful (though sometimes poorly rewarded) work, and much more. Let us not lose sight of these. For they are whispers of love from a caring God to his beloved humans.
Secondly, there is hope for our troubled world. Not a vague desire that something good might turn up in the end, but a firm assurance that the evils we observe and experience will be dealt with and will cease to be. This is the promise of the gospel. Not only will evil be removed, but the universe itself will be renewed and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. In this realm, there will be no tears for there will be nothing to cry over. A brand new world in which God and Christ will dwell with their redeemed ones.
Christ already introduced this era when he defeated death through his own death and resurrection – a new era, the age of God’s kingdom, which he will perfect at his return.It is to this present goodness and assured hope that he calls all humans in every nation. He does not call humanity to despise joy and happiness; he calls us to enjoy true joy and lasting happiness in this renewed world. Such joy as we can only faintly grasp in our present state.
Why not reach out to him?
The clock is ticking…