Atheistic communism used to throw this taunt at Christianity. Believing that ‘religion was the opiate of the masses’, communism saw Christianity as a threat to its programme of building a just society. They saw Christianity sapping people’s resolve to fight for a better world in this life – because they believed in a better world to come in the next life.
Like some today, they believed Christianity to be “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good”.
I (and many others) beg to differ.
Today the world is transfixed by images coming out of New York. They look like shots from a B disaster movie. Only they happen to be true. Passenger planes hijacked and used to ram into various commercial and military buildings. Possibly thousands dead.
We feel shocked. We feel numb. And we feel very, very vulnerable.
(Unless you happen to be living in Palestine/Nigeria/Kashmir/etc where violence is a daily reality.)
How do we cope with horrors of such a magnitude? How do we cope with the violence and frailty of life in this world?
Psalm 1:3 describes the people of God thus:
“They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.”
Having a regular supply of water is a serious matter in the desert conditions of the Middle East. In the killing heat of the desert, a plant is able to live only if it can get a regular supply of life giving water.
And it is precisely because the roots and foundations of our lives, lie outside this life, that gives us the capacity to survive in the morally arid conditions of this life. It is precisely because we are rooted in Christ that nothing that happens to us in this life, can ever rob us of the source of our lives and the source of our hope.
Instead of hampering our ability to work for good, the fact that we are rooted in a Christ outside history gives us the ability to continue the good fight in history.
These are dark times. Thank God for the regular supply of living water that comes from Christ. It gives us the strength to carry on even in the harshest of conditions. It enables us to continue working for good even when things are really bad.
In these dark days, may our leaves help give shade and sustenance to the many around us who are trapped in fear, desperation, and despair.
NB. This week’s edition of the eCOMMENTARY has been sent out a day early as a response to the horrendous events in the U.S….. and as a reminder that in some parts of the world, terror is a daily reality.