This past summer, I worked as an intern at a bioethics research institute
— a heavy title for a 3rd year English student! At social gatherings, when
both elders and peers inevitably inquired about my summer and where I
worked, I usually summed it up as, “I studied topics related to abortion,
euthanasia and assisted-suicide on a deep level.” Within the first few
seconds, I could always tell that I’d either opened up a conversation of
deep importance to the individual, or one that just didn’t matter because
it was either too controversial or abstract.
With the many people I converse on such topics, I find that most have
little desire to engage with these issues, seeing them as heavily political
and culturally charged. They fear meddling in such controversial affairs.
To be honest, I don’t blame them.
As I delved into the intricacies of the current state of the law and cultural
opinion on both abortion and euthanasia, I uncovered a great amount of
discouraging information that had the potential to overwhelm. It was easy
to immediately adopt a defeatist mindset; it seemed that no matter how
much information on the complications of abortion was published, or no
matter how many people write to their MPs concerning euthanasia laws,
the rushing waves of the political storm would wash the hard work away
and we’d be left representing a side of the conversation that had lost its
voice in the torrent of the crash.
I don’t mean to say that culture is in a state of chaos any more than it has
been in the past — humanity’s fallen nature merely manifests itself in different ways. However, the fear that all good effort and work is for naught
in the context of a post-Christian society, whether it is on the educational,
political or scientific level, is all too easy to embrace.
Although the fear of failure may creep into the Christian’s work — especially in the public square — God has given us the hope of glory and
redemption of all things thought and by His Son to empower us to live
with authority rather than fear. Through my work at the bioethics research institute, and in my own life — such as a small gesture of sparing
some change for a street involved person — I’ve begun to see that each
good deed, done out of love for Christ, is a moment where we implement heavenly principles into earthly reality. Whether it is shown through
constructing a school in an impoverished African village, or writing a
chapter on the complications of abortion, or having a conversation with
a homeless man, we play a role in bringing the kingdom of God to earth.
Therefore, we don’t have to fear that there is no point to doing good work
for the glory of God, even when it feels menial or unproductive. We can
have faith that the light will never be overcome by darkness, no matter
how bleak circumstances may seem. A life of action lived for the sake of
Christ is a spark of “His marvelous light” that will be revealed in full on the
day of glory.
THY KINGDOM COME
. FEARLESS IN THE FACE OF GLORY.
By: Conor Sweetman