|"Behold, I make all things new!"|
I am writing this note from London where this past Friday I've been discussing with Prime Minister Tony Blair the new iteration of our Yale course on "Faith and Globalization" and where earlier on Tuesday I participated in the founding of a new organization - "C-1 for the Common Good" - dedicated to improving relations between the Islamic and the Western world. During this same week, on London's grand political stage, some of the world's most powerful leaders assembled at the G20 summit to seek new solutions for a world facing some of the most pressing challenges of our times.
New things! Some new things are helpful (like a new version of an old course), others are needed (like C-1), and yet others are seemingly indispensable (like a new set of approaches to economic crisis). People have always dreamed about new things and have worked for them, even if all new things have quickly become old and some have proven a waste of time. The whole story of God's dealings with humanity concerns new things: it starts with a brand new garden (Genesis 2) and ends with a new city - the New Jerusalem (Revelation 20). In the very center of that story, which is the story of humanity itself, stands the event that Christians around the world are celebrating this week - the resurrection of Christ. The crucified Christ, the one who died bearing the sin and suffering of the world, has been raised by God to a new and imperishable life.
In all our strivings for new things, whether lofty or mundane, we are secretly reaching out to this new and imperishable life with God. And the promise of that new life, given to us irrevocably through Christ's resurrection, grounds our hope that rapacious time will not swallow and make waste of our best efforts. In this time of worldwide crisis, we need the energy birthed by such hope as we undertake the daunting task of mending our lives and our world. We also need assurance that, no matter what happens to us, our lives are embraced by Christ's new and imperishable life.