Sick of politics and discord? Here’s hope

There are two lines near the end of the Nicene Creed that ought to fill our hearts with hope, even as the world around us seems to crumble.

“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.”  Well, yay! Excuse me while I jump out of my chair and shout for joy!

Things are rough right now, we all know that. There’s a lot of anger out there and sometimes it explodes in our faces. From the nastiness of the current political season to the disheartening scandal in the Church or the ongoing pandemic, it seems like we’re headed for the cliff.

But here’s where our Christian faith should help us focus on the ultimate outcome: God wins. In fact, He’s already won. He is coming back and His justice will reign. That’s good news if we recognize how little we deserve His mercy and yet how much He bestows on those who sincerely repent.

When I consider all my sins and the wrong choices I’ve made in my life, it’s still overwhelming to realize that God has completely forgiven me for ALL of it. I don’t deserve it. None of us do, and yet here we are, choking back tears, blown away by His mercy and yearning for that day when He returns in glory.

Which brings us to the line at the end of the Creed: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”

Do we truly look forward to the life of the world to come or are we weighed down by worldly cares? Do we have a pet sin that we just can’t part with quite yet? Could that be why the thought of Jesus’ return provokes some anxiety? St. Paul offers a word of caution: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2).”

One thing becomes quite apparent when you give yourself to Christ completely: You’re going to have to change the way you live. But you won’t do it on your own strength — you’ll do it with His.

When we surrender our lives to God entirely, we learn to see the world and its troubles through spiritual eyes. For the person rooted in the Lord Jesus, there is no room for cynicism, a hopeless outlook that seems to pervade our culture right now.

How many sermons and retreat messages have you listened to at this point in your life? Hundreds? Thousands? How many have stayed with you through the years? I think I could count the most memorable messages on one hand (apologies to pastors and evangelists everywhere). It was the early 1980s and I was halfway through college when the words that still echo in my mind were uttered from the pulpit: “Cynicism is poison to your soul. Do not become a cynic.”

Of course, college students are renowned for cynicism and smugness so you can imagine he got us thinking. I’m still pondering about it all these years later, every time hear someone decry this or that political/social/ecclesiastical outrage and follow it up with an accompanying bleak prediction.

Cynicism poisons. Faith inspires.

Let us keep our minds grounded in faith, hope, love and truth. Let us stay focused on the objective of becoming more and more the people God has called us to be, sharing His saving message and the joy that comes from knowing Christ.

He will come again. The question is, will we be ready?