It is almost mid February as I write and the daffodils are already full out in the shaded spots of the garden, rivalling the great show of snowdrops and crocuses in the wood. As the days lengthen and the birds begin to sing again we can look forward to enjoying the Spring, despite what the fickle weather may do in the UK.
These rural comments seem far from the actuality of people, in various parts of the world, who are suffering, or who have suffered from natural disaster, disastrous diseases such as AIDS or from suicide terrorist attacks. It is the latter which hits the headlines in the daily news from Iraq or the Middle East. There is also the manic disruption of the internet and email by a few attackers spawning viruses and trojan horses. That a few people can affect the lives and well being of the majority is an affront to civilised society. It has always been so, of course, but today the problem seems much more intractable. What is the individual to make of it all?
One thing is obvious and that is that we are all more aware, through the media, of the evils being committed, and to that extent we are all much more involved. Governments must do what they can to confront evil wherever it appears but any course of action is liable to be flawed and called into question by sincere people, as happened in the Iraq war. One thing is certain, however. There is no 'Christian' answer to the problems of the world! Christians have no moral high ground which enables them to treat the world of politics as a 'secular', and therefore as a sort of low grade, form of life as distinct from that led by Christians.
Jesus lived, as we do, at a time of great evils. There is nothing in his teaching and even less in the example of his life, which separated the 'faithful' from the unbeliever. If there is any Christian view of life it is one which believes that God is active in every part of society and is present in the midst of the good and the evil. As with Jesus, and through the gift of new life which he brings, we all are to aspire to an obedience to God that is transparently true and alert to his Spirit moving in and out among our neighbours and in the nations of the world.