Our world, as technologically advanced as it is, still is plagued by some of the same “diseases” that were present in the time of the New Testament, including: institutional racism and bigotry, sexism, economic inequality, domestic violence and child abuse, unequal treatment before the law and prejudicial application of capital punishment, government corruption, religious extremism, and so many more. On any given day the headlines can paint a pessimistic picture. We may be tempted at times to be cynical and feel that evil has the upper hand, especially when violence repeatedly erupts, killing innocent people as they are going about the normal activities of their lives.
However we are reminded by the Bible that we are never without hope and a reason to put effort into making the world a better place. Three things particularly come to mind.
First, God is Lord of all. As much as human sin contributes to suffering and death, ultimately God shall triumph over everything that is opposed to His will.
Second, Jesus died for every one of us in spite of sinful behavior which grieves the heart of God. We are God’s children because of the gift of grace alone. Therefore our task is to do all we can in our little corner of the world to live lives of love and mercy. We are not expected to change the world, but we are expected to do whatever we can where we are planted.
Third, we must see every human as having the same value in God’s sight that we have. There are times when some people may be tempted to think they have an inside track with God because of theology or history or nationality or ethnicity or acts of charity. Various religious ideologies have sometimes led adherents in that direction, but the witness of Scripture contradicts any attempt to be exclusive.
Each day we start fresh, in spite of all that’s wrong with the world, to share God’s love and forgiveness in words and deeds in the best ways that we can. Along the way we’ll see God at work and that will continue to renew our hope and reenergize our efforts.