Is the world becoming a better place or a worse place than it used to be?
There seems to be a feeling around that things are getting worse. This is sad. It is also worrying for Christians, because we have a message to proclaim that Jesus came to show us a better way of being in this world. If the world is getting worse, then those of us who are custodians of Jesus’ message aren’t doing our job very well.
Jesus showed very little interest politics on any level, neither did he get involved in the legal process of his day - even though other rabbis were central to the legal system, and many of them were active politicians. The essence of Jesus’ message (in both word and action) was that politics and law will not make this world any better. What is needed is for ordinary people to take more responsibility for caring for those around them - especially those in particular need.
If we want our world to be better, then we need to start by making it better for the next person we meet, and the person after them, and so on. Every time we encounter someone we have the opportunity to make their day better or worse. If we achieve the former, then the world is a better place.
What we see and read in the news is not an accurate measure of whether the world is a better place or not. Jesus told his disciples, “There will be wars and rumours of wars, but that is not the end of it.” Two thousand years later, there are still wars and rumours of wars (there’s not a lot that you or I can do about that), and the world still hasn’t ended.
What you and I can do is to make the world a better place, at least for a short while, for the people we meet this week. Let’s do it.