As we lament over all the world’s evil that we see regularly in the news, a quote from Albert Einstein comes to mind, The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch without doing anything. It sounds a little like Edmund Burke’s statement, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. And in a speech in 1963 President Kennedy paraphrased a thought from Dante’s Inferno, The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those, who in time of moral crisis, preserve their neutrality.
But even better is a quote from the Book above all books, If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them (James 4:17).
Our theme for 2017 is Be the Good. It is not enough just not to do evil. It is our responsibility and privilege to do good – to be the good. This is not a time to sit on the sidelines in neutrality, but for God’s people to be the light in a very dark world and show forth the good. There is not enough darkness in the whole wide world to put out the light of God’s goodness. May we make sure we let that light shine (Matthew 5:14-16).