Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013: What's the Point?

As the old year dissolves into the new, I am drawn to the revolving cycle of life, the hatch, match and dispatch process that all nature seems bent on. Watching the magnificent BBC series Planet Earth I am struck by the incessant and urgent quest for food, reproduction, and safeguarding the young.

All nature, including human nature, lays primary stress on these clearly important issues—the fight for survival—not just personal, but for each species; the all important reproduction of the next generation.

Given the importance of the continuation of life on the planet, I am led to ask: what’s the point? I am sure you have too. Is all this frenzy just to ensure the next generation? And is that coming generation simply there to ensure the next?

This begs the question, Why is this important? Which leads me to another question: Why do we even consider this? It appears only humans have this dilemma on their minds; dogs and cats and the remaining animal world seem content with just staying alive, eating and reproducing.

One answer, often given, is that our life here is to ensure we leave the world a better place than when we came. Certainly, to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions is a laudable cause. But this simply means we continue human survival in greater comfort; the question of purpose remains unanswered.

Reading Genesis 1 on January 1 this year is probably what half of Christendom does to light the way into the New Year. God created the heavens and the earth and it was formless, empty and dark. And until we come to grips with some meaning to all this survival frenzy, our minds remain the same!

Before order was created out of the chaos, God created light—necessary for functioning of the world yet to appear. It seems logical that we need some transcendent light in our souls if we are to find meaning for the life we’ve been given.

Jesus Christ came into the world. His life was the light of men shining into our darkness. But the darkness mostly seems to reject it. If we are to have any light on the meaning of life, the only starting place is the light God brings us by his earthly appearance in Christ

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied, Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.’”

What better way to find meaning in 2013?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hope for 2013?

It’s natural as we approach the end of one year to try to peer into the next. As we cannot know the future, it seems the most we can do is hope for the best. All those wishes for health and happiness for the coming year are just that: wishes!

Britain is known as the “Land of Hope and Glory,” sung with gusto at the Royal Albert Hall in London every year at the end of the Promenade Concerts. For many this memory has a ring of truth, although hope is diminishing in that country and the glory has been fading for a long time.

Of faith, hope and love, the greatest may be love, but the least understood is hope. Hopelessness is the cause of suicide; hope is an essential ingredient of life. But hope according to its general definition—the probable/possible expectation of something desired—is no match for life

So why does the Bible put so much emphasis on hope if hope is that precarious? Because the Bible has a different idea of hope: It is certainty about the future, as certain as the love of God and assured by our faith—faith that is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

That evidence for the unseen is more sure than the evidence for the life we experience here. “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Thus, we will continue to put my trust and hope in God through 2013. 

Will you?