Such Times

Thoughtful participation in history as it happens

July 2016

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
--From The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
--Esther 4:14b

It's somewhat of an understatement to say that the atmosphere is tense this summer. Stories of tragedy and instability rule the international, national, and local news. Facts, analysis, and judgment pour from every screen and speaker, offering both optimism and despair.

If you let them, those voices will be happy to define for you both the present and the future. But God generally isn't content to hand the reigns of history over to pundits, special interests, political factions, or media outlets. Through Jesus, God is at work reshaping the present in a way that points to a fully restored future, one that's good and glorious and God-designed.

Christians can (and should!) affirm and support the work and messages that align with their best understanding of God's desires for humankind. And we can (and should!) hope for a good future that ultimately won't be dictated by the whims of politics or culture. We can (and should!) weave what's enduringly true into our words and actions, so that as each present moment marches past it makes a statement about what ought and ought not to be, both now and in the future.

So this month, we ask ourselves how to participate thoughtfully in the complicated times we live in. We'll imagine an intentional and uniquely Christian way of life: working in the present for a world that echoes the future we hope for.


July 17: Trouble [listen]
July 24: Body, Book, Becoming (or How to Be a Modern-Day Prophet) [listen]
July 31: Sabbath [listen]

Image Credit

Face in the Crowd: Gwenael Piaser; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0