Faith: An opinion piece by Herb Morrison
Christians, myself included, continue our journey through Advent, culminating with the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.
At the same time, observing contradictory events unfolding in the world around us, it is understandable that both Christian and non-Christian people alike become skeptical when ideals such as hope, peace, joy and love are highlighted during Advent.
In today’s world, that notion that hope, peace, joy and love are sustainable for any appreciable amount of time could lead those around us to believe that Christians have lost touch with reality.
We live in a violent world. Whether or not the violence is perpetuated by humans or by nature, we live in a world where innocent people are injured or die violently with all too frequent regularity.
In recent years, so-called mass shootings have created a heightened awareness of the fact that we live in a world where our physical security cannot be guaranteed. Add to this the reality that we can also die from disease, accidents, or so-called acts of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes or tsunamis, and we cannot be faulted if we feel apprehensive as we attempt to live out our lives.
As we look around, we see the adverse effects of economic disparity and the resulting deprivation it causes, both within our own society and in the world at large. We cannot be blamed if we become overwhelmed as we attempt to meet the challenges posed by social issues such as poverty, discrimination and exploitation of various types — all of which are prevalent in both our society in particular and in the world as a whole.
No one can be faulted if at times we feel that the human condition is hopeless.
There is no way that the Advent ideals of everlasting peace, hope, joy and love can be sustained by imperfect human beings living, as we do, in an imperfect world.
The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that God gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in God/Christ will have everlasting spiritual life. Therein lies the key to every believer being able to savour — in our spiritual form, on a permanent basis, in a place called Heaven — everlasting hope, peace, joy and love which are highlighted by Christians during our observance of Advent.
I refer to this as God, through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, taking the spirit of Christmas/Advent to a higher level, for those who have faith and believe.
Herb Morrison lives in St. John’s.