Maybe We're Doing This Wrong
I was talking to a friend the other day, and we were commiserating on the miserable state of politics, world affairs and otherwise in our current culture.
At one point we both sighed in unison.
"I'm going to turn off cable news for the rest of the year," my friend said. I told him that it wouldn't do any good. I told him that all of the crazy would find him somehow.
"It feels like the world is falling apart sometimes," he said wearily.
I get it. I feel like that at times, too. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the hysteria, anxiety, political scandals, name-calling, in-fighting, violence, fear and what-not that seems to permeate everything.
Funny. The world of the first century wasn't all that dissimilar. There were wars, and rumors of wars. There was oppressive taxation from the government. Terrorists were striking soft targets like festivals, feast days and religious observances.
And the political and religious leaders of the day seemed to care more about lining their own pockets and securing their own power than serving the people who needed justice.
Into that world---that moment of history--God became one of us so that all of us, in every age and every place might find rescue, redemption and restoration. There was light in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.
There is light in our time, in our world, too. There is so much light. There is goodness and mercy, love and hope. And there will be peace--if we long for it enough to make it.
Father Richard Rohr once wrote:
We have spent centuries of philosophy trying to solve the problem of evil, yet I believe the much more confounding and astounding issue is the problem of good. How do we account for so much gratuitous and sheer goodness in this world? Tackling this problem would achieve much better results.What if during this Advent season we decided to focus on all of the good that is going on in the world? What if we made a big deal out of all of the stories about grace, forgiveness, hospitality and hope?
What if we began to solve the "problem of goodness" by resolving to find it, to share it, to offer it to everyone, no matter who they are? What if we showed grace even to those we believe may not deserve it---just like we have been shown?
That kind of thing might just change the world.
May this be true for you and guide your feet through this Advent journey. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.