It is Christmas Day. a day on which we remember that hope was born. The human and the divine — by the grace of God — met in one person, the baby Jesus. Now there is solid, tangible, historical reason for our hope to return home to the heart of our Creator.
I cannot use the word “hope” these days without a deep and disturbing consciousness that ours is a culture at a dangerous crossroads. The beauty of America, described in jut one of many possible ways, is that we have always been a balance of powers and influences, a creative if at times tense blending of cultural and political values. that balance is now being broken.
Education, so essential to democracy and to the wisdom which sustains it, has become little more than job training. The loss of perspective that comes from this change is immeasurable.
Democratic politics has been supplanted by partisanship. The “common good” is no longer the goal of our political leaders. Love of party has grown greater than love of country.
The checks and balances built into the American system of government may not survive the trump presidency. If the Supreme Court, for example, is now to be marked by a sharp turn to the right, the Court will have become nothing more than a political tool to serve political conservatives. (It was likely to take a turn one way or the other no matter who was elected.)
America has prospered so greatly since World War II that greed has become not an evil to be avoided but a “realistic” way of thinking. Greed has distorted capitalism so badly that capitalism is now the enemy of democracy as economics becomes the sole measure of values. Our new president will speed the process of capitalism gaining dominance over democracy and it will take many years to recover from his presidency.
At the heart of the many losses we are currently experiencing, none is more costly than the loss of faith. Those who have no faith in our Creator have no center for their hearts and their values. they may choose something to be the center — such as family or work — but that means their own choice reigns. They are their own lords, a situation which has proven disastrous thousands of times in history.
The church in America, too often like the political parties in its self-interest, must awaken and take the lead, calling our society back to the godly values of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Are you ready to be part of the next Reformation?