16th November 2020

The news – albeit with caveats and caution – that there could be an effective Covid-19 vaccine has brought a new sense of hope. Hopeful signs, too – albeit still with short-term turmoil – in the result of the US Presidential election.

Sufficiently hopeful for there to be various expressions of the kind ‘maybe things can at last begin to get back to normal’. But it’s widely recognised that there is great folly in the language of ‘getting back’.

The ‘new normal’ won’t be exactly like the ‘old normal’ – post-coronavirus different to pre-coronavirus; ‘post-Trump’ different to ‘pre-Trump’, and so on.

Where is hope to be found then? A reminder once again that the Christian hope is ‘not of this world’ and is as powerful whether things in this world are good or bad. It is the hope that crystallises in the death and rising again of Jesus but it has ancient seeds, expressed very well in Psalm 118, from long before Christ’s time – verse 9 –  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

In our time, that means that we should take hopeful signs in the world as signs of God’s Kingdom (changes in politics or medicine or whatever), but ultimately, place our hope in God’s eternity.

Michael Docker