The Best and Worst of Times

it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-timesThe Dickens’ classic begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, . . . it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, . . .-in short, the period was so far like the present period. . .” (Charles Dickens, a Tale of Two Cities).

The appeal of that opening volley is that as much as it was true then, it is true now. We are in a season of hope. Many are celebrating Christmas and looking forward to a new year.  Both always remind us of and bring us hope. Hope is a fuel that empowers our lives. But alongside of this hope there is hopelessness.  Poverty still exists. People are starving. People are living in inadequate conditions. Crime – violent crime – continues to rise.

Just this weekend a grandmother in Little Rock, Arkansas took her 3 year old grandson Christmas shopping.  At an intersection, a man got out of the car behind her, apparently angry that she was driving to slow and shot repeatedly into her car. At least one round struck the 3 year old who died from the wound. It is the worst of times.

But it is the best of times.  Advances in technology and medicine occur daily. People are reaching out to others and giving a helping hand.  I heard a couple of families in a parking lot shopping center talking about the gifts they bought for underprivileged families. I saw Central Church of Christ help thirty families over Thanksgiving and then provide holiday gifts for nearly 30 children this month. That is just what I have seen. There is more gong on that you and I do not know about.

It is the best of times. Time still exists by the loving mercy of God and that means time for you and I to make certain we are following His will and leading others to Him. There is hope. And . . . .

Hope is a fuel that empowers our lives.


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