What is going on in this world we have been given? It’s a question we often ask wordlessly with a head shake or a sigh. Christians generally hold to a particular hope we affirm in the Creeds and each month at Communion table – “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” We trust that he is coming in final victory, and “we will feast at his heavenly banquet.”
But… how do we get from here to there? It’s easy to get confused. Some point to events and say “see, it’s all getting worse,” which they then say means Christ will return soon, once we adequately wreck this world. Others point to world events where justice is breaking through and say “Lord, your Kingdom come, and allow us to participate in what you are doing.”
We are each invited into a life of grace where, through the practice of spiritual disciplines and concrete works of justice, living in the presence of God can become a present reality. We don’t know the day or the hour when Christ will return, because they in a real sense are secondary: today is the day of your salvation, the time for living a vibrant, Spirit-filled life. Furthermore, what does this possibility mean in this world we share, a world where some are unable to look up from fear, from want, from hunger, from discrimination, from violence… how are they to experience this grace of God when at times for them it can seem nowhere to be found?
King and others believed the universe has a moral arc, and that arc “bends toward justice.” It bends toward justice because faithful ordinary people respond to the experienced needs of their neighbors. Pray to see the places where your light can shine hope in this world today.
Grace and Peace,
Readings for your consideration:
The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give…
for the Lord delights in you.
Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but that same Christ arose and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by His name. Yes, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” There is something in the universe which justifies William Cullen Bryant in saying, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.