I noticed the Guardian cartoon; ‘First dog on the moon’ described last year as ‘a lower intestine of a year’ whatever that means. I’m not sure how you perceive the last year you’ve lived, certainly on the international front many have struggled. A million refugees out of Syria is just one small part of the turmoil our world is embroiled in. Personally, you may have had some ups, and hopefully, not too many downs.
The great uncertainties of the future that we face cause many to pull up the drawbridge of life and shut out any threat. It’s no surprise really, that the Donald Trumps of our world actually get a hearing in the current environment. Terrorism is actually designed to foster alienation, antagonism and ultimately war. That’s where we got the ‘war on terror’ from in the first place, and when we bow to this seduction we are forgetting such a war is un-winnable. (Surely the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should have taught us that.)
But there is another way, a harder road to walk for sure, but one you can be certain is not the dead end the majority of our world is pursuing. When Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us, he knew the cost of such sacrifice. As Christians we feel warm and comfortable that Jesus died for us and that while we were his enemies he bore our rebellion forgiving us even to his death. It’s one thing to feel good about what’s been done for you, it’s another to consider that you might be called to carry such a cross. To forgive those who make themselves our enemies is a scary proposition, but one that Christians need to be doing if they are serious about following Jesus.
So whatever 2016 brings for you, in the midst of all its uncertainties; refugees from Syria, global warming, economic instability, there is one certainty for Christians: God calls us to love those around us whatever the cost to us personally. It’s only through us that people can see Jesus, so may God grant that this year we may fulfill our calling. And whatever ‘lower intestine of a year’ those around us may be having, they’ll see us living the kind of love we’ve been loved with, and know there is a God at work in our uncertainties.