Being a parent can be scary. It is rough out there.
There are the culture wars—Democrat versus Republican, conservative versus liberal, Independent versus I’m-moving-to-Canada. There are the mommy wars—breast versus bottle, carrier versus stroller, working versus stay-at-home (and thus, working harder).
And then, of course, there are actual wars. Terror attacks that come near our doors. Violence in school, in the workplace, in the community. A bomb that explodes on Easter Sunday in Pakistan. Shooters that ravage a social service center in San Bernardino. Violence in Brussels, in Paris, in Syria, in Sudan.
The world can be savage, and sometimes the darkness and the heaviness and the brutality of it all threaten to overwhelm us, to throw us all into the tailspin of hate or fear or despair, all of which are heightened when we aren’t sleeping well, which, of course, none of us are…
Yet those of us who follow Jesus are called to radical hope in the face of the world’s brokenness because Jesus wins. The story of the Gospel, of God coming to live among his people, is that the story, THE story ends with life, not death. Jesus conquers death on the cross and rises from the grave, offering us hope of redemption, resurrection, and life eternal.
Back in the 1980s theologians Stanley Hauwerwas and Will Willimon wrote a book called Resident Aliens. They wrote it during the time when Christians were working against nuclear proliferation, fearful the world could end at any time because of the Cold War.
In the face of this fear, many—some Christians included—made the argument that people should just stop having kids. That bringing kids into such a broken and fearful world was a futile endeavor, a pursuit that would only bring more heartache.
Yet Hauwerwas and Willimon responded with the witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our families:
We have children as a witness that the future is not left up to us and that life, even in a threatening world, is worth living — and not because ‘Children are the hope of the future,’ but because God is the hope of the future.
Amen to that.