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Striving for a Better Future

February 10, 2018 by

In the pre-dawn hours of Friday, the federal government shut down briefly after weeks of Congress bickering over policy, defense spending, and immigration. The shutdown culminated when Senator Rand Paul warned that government spending has run out of control.

All this, on the heels of the National Prayer Breakfast. Following a tradition founded by Doug Coe and attended by every president since Eisenhower, President Trump addressed a crowd of thousands, highlighting the role of faith in America’s history. The president spoke of seeking “to build a more just and peaceful world, where every child can grow up without violence, worship without fear, and reach their God-given potential.”

These words express an admirable sentiment. Realizing such a world, however, will require much more than words. As followers of Christ, don’t we have a commitment to care for the most vulnerable in our society – to show God’s love in concrete ways to the poor and sick, to refugees and immigrants? Jesus calls us to see past barriers of nationality, race, and religion when loving our neighbor (Matt. 25:31–46; 1 Cor. 10:24).

The opportunities are all around us – eight hundred thousand young people, the “Dreamers,” are on the verge of losing their right to work in the US because they were brought to this country as children. The numbers of refugees and displaced persons from horrendous violence in Syria, Myanmar, Iraq, and Yemen have reached a level not seen since World War II. Here in the United States there is the opioid drug epidemic affecting the working middle class who may not see much if any relief from the recent trillion dollar tax overhaul.

Starman in spaceCredit: SpaceX, Elon Musk's Instagram account

In a week when cryptocurrency crashed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stumbled, attention was diverted by talk of a costly military parade in Washington. Then there was Elon Musk’s latest multimillion-dollar SpaceX rocket launch. At the root of all this hubris – unsustainable stock market valuations and massive national debt, military buildup and grandstanding, firing electric cars into outer space – is a human desire to control our circumstances by placing our faith not in God but in mammon and in vainglory. May we not forget the story of the tower of Babel – how the people were scattered under God’s judgement when they tried to build a tower that reached to heaven (Gen. 11:1–9).

These days remind me of the words of King David in Psalm 118:8: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” True faith is holding on – despite the storms that assail us – to the firm trust and unshakeable belief that God will lead us, as individuals and families and as nations. With this faith, and with prayer, we can have true peace of heart and find hope and courage to strive for a better future for all the children of this world.

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About the author

Paul Winter and his wife Betty

Paul Winter

Paul Winter serves as the elder of the Bruderhof. He lives with his wife, Betty, at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

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  • I get much life and encouragment from your blogs

    Cynthia Mawson
  • May not forget that we are at God's image. God is dwelling in Man. When I saw the firing of rockets to space, I thought " The destiny of Man is infinite, Thanks God". Mankind progress is a proof of God's existence. The God of the old testament is a God that punished Mankind, a God of fear and violence. Happily Jesus vision changed God into a loving God, that's why we are christians !

    greg
  • Concerning the launching of a new type of rocket by Elon Musk, I think it is a new step toward human progress in knowledge. And we should never forget that Man is God's tool. When the tool is more efficient, it is better for god. Let's hope that rockets will fulfill Man's duty to expand life toward the cosmos for God's sake.

    Greg