By: MARGARET BROWN
ONCE AGAIN Christmas and New Year festivities are over, to be remembered and savoured when the going gets tough.
A most happy celebration of family: of one from 2,000 years ago and another of the 21st century. As recorded in two of the gospels Joseph, and Mary, who was pregnant, were on their way to Jerusalem when it became time for the infant Jesus to be born.
Life was rugged in those days and we have come far since then. Yet today, whole populations are on the move – driven from their homes by drought and flood, civil strife and ethnic cleansing: babies continue to be born, some surviving and others dying as their mothers struggle to feed them and keep up with the exodus.
When we are brought face to face with terrible things happening across the world, pity and horror fight with a desire to hide from such suffering and look the other way. Charitable giving may salve our pain and guilt, but that is not the answer to the chaos into which the human race seems to be descending.
The Industrial Revolution and acceleration of scientific discoveries through the 19th century to the present day, which, in many ways, have brought benefits to the human race are also helping to destroy a way of life. Then, man and environment were living in symbiosis, now it is said that: “Monotheism has given way to Money-theism”.
Respect for life and the environment fostered by the four great religions has been overtaken by materialism. The question is whether a return to the faith of one’s forefathers would come too late to restore the balance. Throughout the bible, care of the created Earth is held to be essentially a spiritual, moral and ethical issue: as Dr. Bob. Edgar said in 2003: “If current trends continue, we will not”.