Parish News : December 2021

Light in the darkness

We live in a very dark world. There is violence, there is injustice, there is pain, there is suffering. People don’t know where to turn for hope. Most of us are vaccinated against the horrible coronavirus, and then we hear of the new Omicron variant that was first discovered in South Africa: will our vaccination withstand this new virus? Will this prove to be even more infectious, or more dangerous, than any variant we have seen before? At time of writing, we do not know the answer to any of those questions. But the world we live in is still very dark indeed.
The darkness is in part due to events or illnesses which happen to us that we have no influence over. There is also much darkness due to things people do, or don’t do, to one another. The reason the Omicron variant seems to have arisen in the African continent is because of the very low vaccination levels in those countries. That is mainly due to the lack of vaccine made available to those countries. Or if they do have the vaccine itself, they have lacked the syringes needed to administer the doses.  

Much of the darkness in our world is down to inequalities. Inequality which is due basically to some people hoarding for themselves, at the expense of others. Such inequality was always bad, but it has worsened considerably in recent years.

The richest 1% of the world’s population, those with more than $1million, own over 43% of all the world’s wealth. Put another way round, over half of the world’s population own only 1% of all the wealth in the world. And at the other extreme, looking at the 10 wealthiest billionaires. Individuals with the most wealth, own between them more than the overall GDP of countries like Indonesia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Poland, Thailand, Belgium or Sweden.

Why doesn’t God do something about this?

Well, in short, he has! He became a human being in order to show us what he is like, and what his values are. He became a human being in order to save us from the darkness and deadliness of our sins. And He will return one day to judge everyone. Then, justice and mercy will flow like ever-flowing streams. Then will be a time of perfect peace and harmony, when people will not fight each other (swords will be turned into ploughshares, see Micah 4.3) and there will no more be enmity between animals, so the lion will lie down with the lamb (see Isaiah 11.6-7).

That is going to be a time to rejoice. That is the hope we have in the midst of all the darkness surrounding us. The light of Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

And how will people be judged in that day? Not on the basis of amount of money in the account, or length of service in the church, or popularity with people. The only way God will judge us when Jesus returns, is on the basis of our faith.

Let us hold on to Christ, let us renew our trust in him. Amid all the glitter and tinsel, let us hold on to the hope he has given us. The light of Christ!

Tina Upton

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