Thought of the week

New Year is a time for thinking about change, about how things have changed in the past year, and how they might change in the coming one. Change is a constant in our lives. It can be for the better or for the worse. Change has been, and remains a constant of human existence, sometimes slow and almost imperceptible, sometimes fast and drastic. Much of that change humanity has created through its own actions, often not for the better. Climate change, which now threatens decisive change in the very near future, is at least in part due to humanity’s collective actions.

For the last four years, the principal focus has been on potential political change around the controversy over Brexit, but now our awareness focuses more and more on the impacts of climate change, the considerable changes in society and the ever-increasing role of digital communication. These factors already affect us greatly and in the future will do so to even greater extents, but to some extent we can influence them.

As Christians our understanding of our faith in God and our commitment to his love for us will change as our relationship with Him develops, and as the society and world, in which we try to live that faith and demonstrate that commitment, change around us. Changes in society mean that we now need to proclaim Christ’s message in new and different ways, as well as through our traditional approaches. The next few years will be decisive for the future of this planet. As Christians we need to think how we can best respond to the change that is happening. 

We must try to show how responding to God’s love for all humanity can help the world to address these problems, and can help people to come to know God and love Him in return. That may mean that we should be campaigning for a more sustainable use of the world’s resources, or agitating to make our politicians take hard decisions now to counter the various threats facing the world. It may mean that we should be proclaiming Christ’s message on the streets to a much greater extent. 

Or it may be something as simple as making our churches more accessible by finding different ways of inviting people in, for example through St Edburg’s annual Christmas Tree Festival, by being more welcoming, or by physical alterations which make access easier. In these and other ways, more people may be encouraged to come into these places of beauty and peace and become more aware of God and his unconditional love for us. 

Christopher Young