Like you, I’m trying to make sense out of all the stuff that is happening in the world today. We live in a country that people from around the world want to move to, come to study in our universities, get better jobs and way of life, and enjoy our freedoms. Never before in the world have so many had all they needed for food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education. Never before in the world have so many people making a good living. Never before has overt racism been eradicated to the extent it has today. Anyone can go to any school, eat in any restaurant, live in any neighborhood, or work in any kind of job. Anyone can attend any church of their choosing, or shop in any store, and go to any emergency room.
We don’t have a perfect system and there is still much work to be done to achieve social justice, and while we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go. Part of our success is due to the judeo-christian ethic and morality that most of us were raised with. All throughout history the church has taught charity. That we ought to feed the poor, house the homeless, clothe the naked and share the earth’s goods has been our ethic. The church has encouraged us to educate, provide health care, and support families in distress. How many of our colleges and universities, hospitals, and charitable organizations have religious names, because they either reflected christian values or were instituted by christians? All throughout history men and women have dedicated their entire lives to ministering to others in their need. Much of our christian ethic is so woven into the fiber of our psyche that we live it without being conscious of it.
At the same time, we abort around a million babies each year. Most of them are black and other minorities. Talk about racism! At the same time, peaceful protests often become violent. A great many children are born to single parents, lacking the love of both parents. There appear to be few limits on sexual morality. More people are unhappy.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is that many of us are trying to make a perfect world without the help of Jesus and the christian ethic. We seem to think that we can do this by ourselves without the guidance of the bible, the church, and the holy spirit. As such, we are doomed to fail. Our appetites for greater wealth, perfection, and happiness will never be satisfied. The first great commandment is love God and the second to love our neighbor. While loving our neighbor is good, it will never be done well if we don’t love God first. Rather, our love will be shallow as we put ourselves first.
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”