Many Mature Christian People Feel a Great Sense of Loss
We live in times when it is easy to become disillusioned, for the society we inhabit is no friend to the Christian faith. It is not that it is particularly hostile, but rather it is indifferent to Christianity and wishes it would simply go away. Galadriel sums it up perfectly at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings movie, “The world is changed: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.”
Many mature Christian people feel a great sense of loss. They feel it deep in their bones. They may not fully understand it, but whether they can put their finger on it or not, it is there. The problem is they are still holding on tightly to the Christendom version of the Christian faith and find it difficult to let go of what has been so dear to them because it was the air they breathed for over a thousand years. However, the world has changed, and they naturally struggle to come to grips with this new world – a world in which they still feel the immanence of the transcendent God they believe in. But for all intended purposes, they find themselves living in a world where God is dead and considered irrelevant to daily life. God seems to have gone missing, and they never saw it coming. God is absent in the lives of secular people and society, and faithful Christian people feel it deeply. Many churches are slowly dying, causing great angst in the lives of God’s people. And so, our challenge, as God’s people, is to live faithfully and respond creatively to this new missional context.