Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Advent, Day 24: Sorrow

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’ 

- Revelation 21:1-4

Yesterday was a horrible day in the world. The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara. In Germany a truck plowed into a crowded market and killed twelve people and injured many others in what Angela Merkel is calling a terrorist attack. Vladimir Putin's response to all this was to urge continued support for Bashar Assad's murderous regime in Syria.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, a habitual liar who continues to demonstrate no concern with anybody or anything that does not either stroke his ego or pad his secret financial portfolio, was officially elected to be the next president of the United States. He has selected a cabinet that is simultaneously the wealthiest and the least educated presidential cabinet in our nation's history. This is not a partisan smear, but a list of relevant facts; our national situation has moved way beyond partisan politics.

It's easy to lose hope in times like these. It just feels so overwhelming.

Remember that not one of us lives in the future. Our fears of things that have not yet happened are no cause for despair. The only moment we have is right now, and our mission is to do the loving thing. What is the loving response to the moment that lies in your hands?

The real benefit of our fears is to steel us for this loving action. Courage is a virtue gained through practice. What is the courageous response to the events of the world?

We cannot control the direction of the world or even, ultimately, of our own lives. These are times to place the future in God's hands and to ask for the gifts of love and courage that will be required of us.

Do you dream of a time when all shall be well? Hold onto that vision. It is not naive; it is what God wants for us. I don't know on which side of the grave it will occur, or what it will look like. Surely not one of us knows. But the promise is that it will come. It will come. And it will be far better than we can possibly imagine.

1 comment:

  1. Philosophically we may not be in total control of the direction our lives will take but we do have some say in the matter. We face multiple decision points daily and if we don't chose then life will make the choice for us and we'll be left to deal with the consequence. Dreaming of a time when all will be well assumes that there is a perfect end result for our existence, mortal or otherwise. What I see are multiple moments in time that by our efforts, the help of others, and God's assistance when, for just a moment, all will be well.