A regular column from Chichester Diocese. This week it is from Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes.
I often hear people say, ‘everything happens for a reason’.
That’s not just religious people, indeed it usually isn’t.
It comes from a deep-seated desire to see meaning and purpose in life, particularly in hard times. Some people might say that it’s not much more than seeing patterns in the clouds. A leftover artifact of evolution and the need to avoid being eaten by sabre-tooth tigers!
Many would probably argue that religious claims of a meaning to life are just a sophisticated version of the same thing.I wouldn’t presume to speak for other faiths, but Christians do see a hand behind the unfolding of history.
No more so than right now during Advent, the beginning of the Christian year.
Advent is a time when we look forward, not just to remembering Jesus’s birth, but also to a time in the future when his plans for the world will be fulfilled and he will come again.
There’s an old hymn line, ‘God is working his purpose out, as year succeeds to year.’
We believe that this is indeed what’s happening.
There’s a purpose that can’t be stopped by human evil, instead God is able to weave even bad human choices into his own good purposes.
We call that hope – a hope that doesn’t disappoint.