‘One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind’, so said Astronaut Neil Armstrong as he stepped from ‘The Eagle’ in July 1969. This was the defining quote of a generation filled with hope after the rebuilding of a world ravaged by 2 world wars. The age was filled with hope that science and engineering would solve all the world’s problems. Health would bring lively longevity, famine would be eradicated, there would be an abundance of gadgets for all, wars would be an activity of the past, and ultimately we would no longer be restricted to the planet; the stars were ours for the taking.
Today we have gadgets galore but we still have war, and illness stalk our daily lives; as soon as one is conquered it seems another lies waiting to pounce. Despite much fake news, Christianity has never promised God will take all the bad away today. Through his Spirit Jesus instead promises to walk beside those who will follow him, through the good and ill of life, offering direction into ways of peace and grace; ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ he famously says. If we are honest those who followed in the past added some of their own ideas and the results were not as good as had been hoped for. However, Jesus still says each day to every generation ‘come follow me’ and history shows glimmers for hope that should enough ‘follow’ the world would be very different indeed.