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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

4 February 2015: David Bee, St Mary's Buriton

Hope for the future?

The future of the world looks very uncertain, not to say bleak. World leaders have gathered in Davos, talking about mutual co-operation, but never at the risk of limiting their own countries' economic growth. Climate change is never given the priority it needs. By the time sea levels start to rise significantly it will be much too late. Those living on wooded hillsides will be OK, but not the teeming millions of Bangladesh and other low-lying countries.

undamentalist extremist religious groups continue to grow in power and influence. The response to violence is more violence. The vicious spiral seems unstoppable. Radicalisation of susceptible minds becomes so much easier. The self-interest of the 1% is often at the expense of those who can least afford it. Poverty grows. The manufacture of cheap generic drugs, which can save the lives of millions in the developing world, is challenged in the courts of the world by immensely rich global drug companies seeking to maximise profits. Greed and selfishness rule.

Where is hope?

The only hope, the only realistic hope, for the world is Jesus Christ. Jesus' life and teachings show us what the world can be; a world where love rules; where forgiveness is the norm; where injuries are healed; where hypocrisy is challenged; where the hungry are fed; where resources are fairly shared; where violence is neutralised rather than retaliated to; where all people are equally valued. This is not a hope based on religion, not a hope centred on the church, not a hope based on debated theologies. It is a hope which can unite rather than divide, a hope for all the peoples of the world.

It is a hope focussed on a person, focussed on God.

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