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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

2 January 2013: Rev'd Richard Saunders, St Mary Magdalen, Sheet

Peace and Harmony in 2013?

I write this on 21st December - the day on which some said the world was going to come to an end. It is the end date of the 5125 year 'long count' of the Mesoamerican Calendar, an ancient calendar used in Central America. Scholars deny that the Mayan civilisation, which most famously made use of this calendar, thought that the world would end in 2012.

However in recent years various New Age interpretations have been put on the date. Some have said that it would indeed be the end of the world. Others have claimed that it would mark the start of a time when the earth and its inhabitants underwent a positive physical or spiritual transformation leading to a new era of peace and harmony.

Well the world did not come to an end! But have we gone through a positive physical or spiritual transformation?

We certainly need such a transformation. Despite huge and wonderful advances in technology, particularly in the fields of communication and health care, the world remains a divided, unjust and often violent place. More communication, it seems, does not mean more peace and harmony. And many around the world will never benefit from the healthcare and safety we enjoy in Petersfield.

The Bible speaks of the transformation of the world in terms of the coming of the 'Kingdom of God'. The 'Kingdom of God' is anywhere where God's rule is followed. Jesus embodied it in his own life. He promised us that it will come fully to this earth when he returns as King of his kingdom.

In the meantime, rather than trying to guess the date of his return, he urged us to pray and work to see his kingdom come. We can do so confident that, even though we suffer setbacks, the peace and harmony we long for will come - because ultimately he will bring it. Now that's something worth living for in 2013.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 2 January; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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