The headlines this past year have not been, by and large, what I would call very encouraging. In some ways, it’s easy to see think our American culture in particular is rapidly spinning out of control; the erosion of moral absolutes – widely-agreed-upon standards that were once common – has left a thick cloud of confusion where once we could clearly see the difference between “right” and “wrong.”
As the depressing headlines stack up, it’s easy to despair…or at least succumb to the temptation to withdraw into whatever form of “safety” we believe we can construct for our lives. The preponderance of bad news not only numbs our souls to the pain of others, but mixed in as it is with an elevated sense of fear for our own physical safety, it’s entirely understandable that we might be tempted to give up, grab what comfort and security we can, and let someone else fix what’s wrong with the world.
But if I am understanding the teaching of Scripture at all, however, it is precisely when things are going south that Christians, as part of their calling, should not only resist the urge to self-soothe but, quite to the contrary, leap into the fray.