Have you noticed rising levels of fear and anxiety in recent times? The stock market is way down (a bear market?), inflation is way up (an impending recession?), and the price of gas is ridiculous. Political polarization feels worse than in the past, so many people–especially teens and young adults–are struggling with mental and emotional health, the war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, and our culture seems to have lost its mind (one of many examples: gender and sexuality).
In the middle of this mess, who are we to be? When the world watches us, what should they see?
On the Lord’s last night before his crucifixion, he spent an extended amount of time with the apostles, and John’s gospel records much of what he said. The disciples were confused, and they were sad that Jesus was saying that he would soon be leaving them.
So much of what Jesus said to them on this Thursday night was meant to comfort the apostles concerning the future. Yes, he was going to leave, but he would not leave them alone. Yes, they would be a minority in a hostile culture, but he was giving them what they needed to do what he was commissioning them to do.
Tomorrow we’ll study what he taught them, and we’ll discuss how what he said to them teaches us about how we should live in uncertain times. His emphasis on love, unity, and service helps us to remember the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. And when we live in anxious times, it’s important to go back repeatedly to focus on the most important aspects of discipleship.