By Rev Ivan Neish
Have you ever wondered why our world is full of two great contrasts?
Side by side, every day in every place there are on the one hand many good things that bring pleasure and delight, and on the other many that bring sorrow and pain.
Most of us are blessed in a multitude of ways. We enjoy friendship, companionship, intimacy and love with those who are dear to us, bringing the richness that comes from sharing life with others. We care, we share, we laugh, play sport, enjoy music, travel, work, marvel at a sunset, read a good book, watch a movie and hold a baby.
Yet there is a darker side to life on this planet. There is hatred, violence, abuse, disease, loneliness, greed, addiction, theft, war, terrorism, intimidation, fear, guns, drugs, murder and death. Why is life in our world like this?
The Bible gives us the answer. It tells us that the reason for the many blessings is that we and the world of which we are a part are made by God. We are created in his image, and get our uniqueness, gifts, and sense of pleasure from him. We are also made for God, and he wants us to live life in relationship with him, to have his presence within us, and to live for him, which is the greatest delight anyone can have.
Sadly, the reality is that multitudes prefer to live without God, not wanting him to interfere in their lives, or guide them on any path. They prefer instead to go their own way, please themselves, and make their own rules. The tragic consequences are seen in the darkness all around us. If nothing is done, it is possible to live and die, yet never discover why we were created in the first place, and never have the life our creator intended for us.
The Good News is that God has reached out in love to humanity, sending his Son Jesus Christ to provide forgiveness for our rebellion. When we turn in faith to him from choosing our own way, we will begin a new relationship with the one who is the source of the deepest joy we can ever know, and who can use us to oppose the darkness around us.