Monday

Because of God, we hope

As we are being told in the news, and by reading the newspapers, doom and despair are everywhere. Truthfully, I have heard that so much lately that my mind is becoming numb.

That is until I read a commentary by another religion writer in another newspaper. Basically, the jist of what this writer was saying is that we have no hope. The only thing we can cling to is the fact that this season, too, shall pass. He even claimed that religion offered nothing and dismissed the claim that God was in charge. He said that it was all so depressing.

Frankly, his article depressed me even more than anything the news has had to say.

What are we to do if hope in God is misplaced by hope that a season will pass? We can take courage in the fact that seasons will pass, but what if they don't? What if the discouraging situation we are facing continues for the rest of our lives?

We have to hope in something that is more solid than earthly friendships, the love of family, acts of kindness, heroism and our own integrity. The only thing I know to be more solid than any of these is God. In this, I believe that religion offers us something, because religion is a quest to find God. Where better to find God than in the midst of crisis?

What I find discouraging during this time is the fact that so-called lawmakers and government appointees can get away with evading their taxes and whatever else they are doing. The present administration is full of them. If we as ordinary citizens tried that, we would be audited and perhaps thrown in jail. Instead of owing an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah, as some preachers are fond of saying, we may one day owe an apology to Al Capone and all of the mafia types who have been jailed because they evaded their taxes.

It is the sinfulness and hypocrisy of humankind that discourages me more than anything. Here we are, made in the image of God, and we live like the devil instead.

But then, there is God. I believe that he is watching and, because of the way he has set the world up, people who do wrong will suffer consequences--either in this life or in the life to come. It's not that I wait for this with a spirit of maliciousness, thinking that I have nothing to fear. I just hope that one day God will make things right--and he will.

Of course, we do not have to wait. "Hope and change" are not based on empty political rhetoric. We can change because of God's love. Because of that, there is reason for hope.