Spotlight 7/2021: Shaping our future
The idea is not to simply wait for the future, but to prepare for it and shape it. This is the tenor of the New Apostolic motto for 2021. District Apostle Michael Ehrich of Germany explains why.
Being interested in our future likely lies in our nature. There is even the scientific discipline of future studies, which is the systematic study of how people will live and work in the future. No one knows what the future will bring in detail. For example, at the beginning of 2020 no one could have guessed what upheavals would be triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The great promises
God is the constant in our lives (Malachi 3: 6). We have every reason to be confident, because God has been with us up to now and will be with us in future too. This certainty is based on the promise of God’s Son: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20). His promise to return is an absolute certainty for us, and this is the focus of our lives. The future will bring us the lasting union with God.
This is also a comforting thought when it comes to our loved ones who have departed this life. Each one of us has links to the beyond: grandparents, parents, spouses, children, other relatives, brothers and sisters of faith. “Christ, our future” also means that we have a future with the Father of lights together with those who have gone into the beyond ahead of us and can share in His glory together.
Shaping our future
It is up to us to proclaim God’s activity and specifically His message: “Jesus Christ is with us! And He will return to complete His work!” The more we are aware of this, the calmer and the more confident we can be, and the more our joy of being able to help along in God’s work will come to the fore. Everything we do in God’s work is future-oriented.
We do not simply wait for our future, but make a point of shaping it by making sure that Jesus’ nature fills us more and more and by serving with the gifts which God has given us. And for this we seek His nearness, for example in prayer, in the divine services, by keeping the commandments, and by a constant and inner connection to Jesus Christ.
If we notice a deficiency we can remedy it with Christ’s help. If our love, for example, has diminished, we can give the Holy Spirit more room. If our joy of faith has suffered or if we have become somewhat weary, let us take new strength out of the word and the sacraments. Where necessary, let us make a new start with the Lord’s help; He acknowledges our faith and trust in Him.
We see that Christ is already present in our lives, and we can have joy in Him no matter the circumstances. He has everything we need until His return.