Forgive me but, might it not be a little more useful to address the dark tendencies of human nature? A world in which some practise sadistic control while others abuse freedom to indulge desire at any cost suggests a yawning abyss of moral blackness and decay right here on planet earth!
It starts in the gym with the music videos accompanying the treadmill, enticing us to lustful, adulterous thoughts. It continues with the images in papers and magazines and what passes for entertainment on TV and computer games, constantly fuelling our growing hunger for food, material possessions and flesh.
Dissatisfied with the gifts of home, marriage and family life we seek alternatives, and heartless entrepreneurs kidnap and traffick millions of young souls worldwide to keep up with market demand. Laws are changed to accommodate every form of sexual license and unwanted children are ruthlessly killed, defenceless in the womb.
Are there no limits to our depravity in this ‘developed’, supposedly enlightened 21st century?
Perhaps it’s ironic that it was into just such a world Jesus was born. A world of education and culture, art, architecture, empire, full of impressive achievements but also murderous religious zealots and cruel, unscrupulous opportunists.
And he addressed those disillusioned with human wickedness and failure in His ‘Sermon on the Mount’, with words as pertinent as ever today.
He said God’s grace and blessing are not for the self-righteous or greedy, but for those who humbly admit our moral bankruptcy, who mourn over the evil in the world (and sometimes in our own hearts), who trust in His forgiveness and superior power, who hunger and thirst for better things like justice and goodness, who practise mercy and respect for others made in God’s image, who hold no ulterior motives but will even endure persecution to work for peace.
He said it all much better in the verses we call ‘the Beatitudes’ in Matthew 5 v 3-10.
It was a little over fifty years ago that Dr Martin Luther King famously said, ‘We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’
What would some of our forefathers think of how we have so selfishly wasted and corrupted the freedom we have been given?
There is a time for godly anger, ‘righteous indignation’, a holy dissatisfaction that spurs Christians to more earnest prayer and action to right wrong and bring comfort to those suffering the consequences of human sinfulness. A time to challenge evil and promote kindness. A time to practise costly love in the name of the One Who loves people of all types and gave Himself to die on our behalf.
Let us not be blind to the ‘black holes’ of our modern world, morally and spiritually lost in its own imagined brilliance. But let us also not be blind to the possibilities for better which open in, before and around us when we submit to the love and leadership of Jesus!