Thursday 2 April 2020

On Finding a Purpose

The below is an extract from an email sent to my church.

Beyond the ever-changing daily headlines, questions of hope and meaning are never too far away.

Several of my friends have linked on Facebook to a thoughtful article in this week’s The Spectator magazine, by the journalist Douglas Murray, who asks, ‘In this strange new world, where do we find purpose?’

Murray himself concludes that ‘we are most likely to find meaning in the places where meaning has been found before. That what has seen our forebears through, and nourished them, will see us through and nourish us in turn’.

While Murray has elsewhere admitted to having a respect and admiration for Christianity, he is also a self-professed non-believer. But his sentiment here has the ring of truth about it, and it strikes me that Christians of all people know where real ‘meaning’ is found.

In his first letter, Peter encouraged his first-century readers to ‘give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’ (1 Peter 3:15). It’s good to be able to tell others how we became a Christian, but Peter is expecting us to be able to say why. Why do we have hope? Not, in the first place, because we have a better philosophy or a better morality. The reason, ultimately, is Jesus. As Peter has said earlier in the letter, we have been born ‘into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade’ (1:3-4).

It is that hope which has nourished those who have gone before us, and it will continue to nourish us through this season.

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