Lesson 1: Is There a Future?

Magic 8 BallKaren echoes what I hear from many friends when she writes, “Maybe we need to explore healthy optimism as a positive result of faith. I feel overwhelmed by the events of day-to-day living that make it feel like there is little likelihood of positive change coming. It is often hard to keep showing up and being a prophetic or dissenting voice in politics, climate inaction, racism, international injustice, economic inequity, etc., in light of the world in which we now find ourselves.”

She points to a critical question. We make important decisions based on our vision of the future. Nowadays, many ask, “Is there any future at all? Is there any reason to work for the good of humanity? Does Christianity offer any guidance?”

The question is asked from two perspectives. The first is the one Karen seems to express. Given the attitude and conduct of the present society, is there any future?

Our governments are unable to address threats to humanity. Our communities are so profoundly divided there seems little chance of changing this. Prevalent distrust is only satisfied with violent solutions, and powerful technology opens up the possibility of genocide and total destruction. All of this is aggravated by tremendous wealth being used to preserve power. Human nature seems not up to solving modern problems.

A second perspective maintains none of this matters, because we have already reached the place of no return. The exponential growth of population will soon bring an unsustainable situation. We have so damaged the environment that there is no way we can recover an inhabitable planet.

Both perspectives see no hope because there is no future ahead. Why should we work for the common good when our efforts accomplish nothing?

Christianity proclaims it offers hope in this situation. Almost all of the Bible is addressed to people in similar circumstances. God promises them a future in which peace, justice, and love will prevail. Faith is primarily trusting these promises.

During Advent we remember the fulfillment of these promises comes with a great upheaval. Mary’s song when Jesus’ birth is announced pictures God bringing down the powerful from their thrones and lifting up the lowly; filling the hungry with good things, and sending the rich away empty.

Let’s examine what this means in the coming weeks.

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2 Enlightened Replies

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  1. paul wildman says:

    Hear hear Fritz and all the best for Christmas and 2024 to you and (y)our readers ciao paul

  2. Kerry Walters says:

    Thank you for tackling this, Fritz. Like so many others, I’m feeling the weight of the future. My faith, flickering though it sometimes does, tells me that all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. But my head and my gut look at the rise of fascism, environmental degradation, wars and rumors of wars, and interpersonal polarization and come to a quite different conclusion. So I’m looking forward to your reflections.


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