By Rev. Richard Walker – Vicar of St. John’s Church, Yeadon

FEAR. Anxiety. Worry. There’s a lot of it around at the moment. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The rise of extreme Islamist groups and the appalling acts of violence they have committed. The refugee crisis in Iraq, Syria and Palestine. The worrying developments in the Ukraine. The constant fresh revelations of historic or recent child sex abuse. It’s all rather depressing.

In my work I meet many parents who are concerned for the future of their children. Modern life seems to them to be lacking in values, morals, respect and hope. “What kind of world are we bringing our children into?” they say to me.

Of course, all is not gloom and doom. There are many who are seeking to make a positive difference in the world and there is much for which we can be thankful. Yet I sense that recent events are forcing us to recognise that life is ultimately beyond our control. It is more fragile and less certain than we used to think. And this realisation is not a bad thing. The Bible says this:

“All human beings are like grass; they last no longer than wild flowers … Grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of our God endures for ever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Maybe it is time for us all to stop placing our hopes in our wealth, knowledge and power. Maybe it is time to admit that we cannot navigate the uncertainties of life by ourselves. Maybe it is time to build our lives on a firmer foundation.