When you have achieved an objective - whether it is a good crop from your vegetable garden or simply having cooked a good meal to perfection - there is not only an immediate sense of satisfaction but also a sense of fulfilment. And fulfilment is something that comes to us, as it were, from the future, from the ultimate meaning of life. The farmer, having sown the seed waits until the grain is fully ripe and then ‘puts in the sickle’ because the harvest has come. What Christian faith sees as God’s ultimate triumph over all things is anticipated now in the everyday satisfaction of an objective achieved. But, of course, that depends upon our understanding of the one who is at the centre of things and of people. It is not a false optimism that holds on to the belief that if in Christ we perceive the ultimate truth and the wholly good, then all things and all nations of people will come to the love that is God. Jesus’ achievement was that he revealed this God. The number of terrible crises in various parts of the world this summer might seem to cry out against such faith. But our daily experience of achievement in work done and the active concern of many people to alleviate the sufferings of others warn us not to fall into a negative view of the future of humankind. To have this ultimate hope is to hope when there is (from a human point of view) no hope .....
for he is my strength and my song

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