Sunday, 22 March 2015

Loving the World in God's Name

One of the challenges of our day, as for every age through Christian history, is the question of how to offer God's love and light in our day.  What are the things that dominate our living and thinking and have the potential to take us down the path to death rather than to life.  

One might be consumerism.  We live in a society where having things, and having them abundantly, is frequently portrayed as the way to happiness.  God wants us to enjoy the world, and having some nice things and opportunities can be part of that, but what should we be saying to those for whom that is constantly the be-all and end-all? 

Another potentially dominating force could be what we might sum up as domination.  We live in a society which works on a hierarchy of winners and losers.  Even if we don’t name it explicitly, there are those who are portrayed as winners and there are those who are portrayed as losers.  Such thinking perpetuates racism, sexism and such attitudes.  We would like to think that we are far from such perspectives, but is it not true that we can’t really declare ourselves entirely innocent?  Is it not true that prejudice creeps too easily into the edge of our thinking?

A third damaging element in today’s world that needs to be firmly challenged by those of genuine faith is violence.  We live in a violent world.  Terrorism hits the news headlines week after week  And the story gets played out and ingrained.  It used to be Popeye eating his spinach, so that he could beat up Bluto.  Now it is an abundance of video games in which fighting and violence play a large part.  How are we speaking to and about the violence that is so prevalent in our world?  The Cross was a violent act, and yet became the place of redemption.  How do we love the world in God’s name – for that is surely what we are called to do.

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