I do not want to sound pessimistic as if everything in the world has gone wrong. There were moments of joy, unexpected pleasant turns in life, and things that can more be felt than said, whether we are aware of them or not, in some ways we all might have experienced them. The happiest moment for me was to go out in the world again and see people leisurely sitting in the sunshine in Noorderplantsoen talking. Watching people without masks was uncomfortable (because the virus still exists) and joyful at the same time, but the fear was there what will happen in the future? The daunting thought that we could any moment revert to the restrictive movements and have to forfeit our freedom is burdensome. Yet, this is the world we have to live with at least for some time in the coming days. Just this week I have been reading news of the rise of Covid-19 cases in China and fear among neighboring countries. Sometimes I wonder about the presence of God in the world.

Christians have lived with the hope of the imminent return of Christ to restore the world. Some saw the deteriorating times sign of the second coming, while others argued for many other pieces of evidence to determine that. In my faith in Christ, I so long for the restoration of the whole creation and our final redemption but struggle with how to articulate that in the fragile world we live in. I do not know whether the coming year would be better or worse in what sense to whom and where Apostle John in his letter writes to the Christians living in uncertain times waiting for Christ to restore the things around them, ‘…No one has seen God, yet if we love one another, God remains in us…’ (1 John 1:4-12 for full reference) This is something worth considering as we wait for our Lord to return. Loving others is a sign that God abides within us and among us. I am not sure what will happen in the year 2023 but in loving others we can hope to see a glimpse of the presence of God among us that will keep us going through it. As the pop song from Eagle Band puts it, Love will keep us alive![1] [1] Eagle (The Band),  Album: Greatest Hits Live (1993)

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