Hope for the future, not repetition of the past

December 3, 2021

From Pastor Joey

I am usually surprised when I hear reporters say, “These are unprecedented times”. Have these people not studied World History: the recording of wars, plagues, conflagrations, bizarre political rulers, oppression, terrific storms….the list goes on and on! Here is a small collection of quotes that express the dilemma.

  • History repeats itself. Thucydides
  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
  • Silence ensures that history repeats itself. Erin Gruwell
  • Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
  • History never exactly repeats itself, but it does some rather good impressions. John Dean
  • If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again. Terry Venables
  • History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Mark Twain

This history quest began when I read an essay by Josh Rittenberg, written over fifteen years ago. It is titled, “Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day.” In the essay, he says that he overheard his dad talking about being upset over his generation leaving those who follow to “a dark and difficult future—if it has a future at all. There will be a pandemic that kills millions, a devastating energy crisis, a horrible worldwide depression and a nuclear explosion set off in anger.”

Rittenberg found family albums that portrayed his grandparents and great-grandparents and he realized what they had experienced in their lives. “Two world wars, killer flu, segregation, a nuclear bomb.” He also found that they experienced wonderful times: “the end of two world wars, the polio vaccine, passage of the civil rights laws. They even saw the Red Sox win the World Series—twice.”

He expressed hope for the future—seeing better things, too: “that we will witness the time when AIDS is cured and cancer is defeated; when the Middle East will find peace and Africa grain.” Perhaps there will be “things as inconceivable to me today as a moon shot was to my grandfather when he was 16, or the internet to my father when he was 16.”

Advent is the time of preparing for the One who has already come and who lives through us today. The history of Christ will repeat itself as we are faithful disciples who “give away love and kindness like we are made of the stuff!” Let us be the ones through which the history of God’s grace and justice lives in our world today through us and Christians all around the world.

Prayer Concerns that we have:

  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.