Walk the way paved with faith in the New Year

fireworks credit unsplash Nicolas TissotAs we enter 2018, Moderator-elect of General Assembly, the Revd Nigel Uden encourages people to walk the counter-cultural way of Jesus Christ.

Throughout 2018 we will mark the end of the First World War with thanksgiving that it ended, the commemoration of the ‘lost generation’, and reflect on what its lessons were. 

A century on, many ponder the mysteries of a prosperous continent choosing to risk everything, and of soldiers fighting on, yet piercing the war’s impenetrable shadows with the light of their comradeship, dependability and self-sacrifice.

Though these mysteries remain, many will be peering into this New Year inspired by both the heights of people’s life-giving love, and troubled by the depths of our death-dealing inhumanity. 

Why do we opt to walk such a way? It seems to be how we are. We live in the ‘penultimate era’ when the struggle between good and evil rages. Life seems to be defined by the confrontation of competing interests. This is not yet the ‘ultimate era’ when God’s love will reign as the fulfilment of His purposes. 

But let’s not miss the fundamental point of the empty tomb, that light shines on, inextinguishably transforming the darkness.

I imagine that was all but unbelievable in the trenches of Ypres, as it can be when our loved-one’s life is defined by illness, or our own by self-loathing, or our nation’s by another’s tyranny. 

But this is why the Christian life focusses not just upon ourselves with all our crippling challenges and imprudent choices, but also upon the God we see in the risen Christ. 

God beckons us to enter 2018 resolved to walk the counter-cultural way of Jesus Christ – the way paved with faith. The grace, truth and love we see in Christ are reliably resurrected, and paved, too, with a discipleship that strives for justice, making public God’s love. 

This is a profound version of Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today, until the kingdom. 

Picture: Unsplash/Nicolas Tissot