Dear friends in Christ,
When you read investing advice, articles will usually have a disclaimer that says something like, “past performance is got a guarantee of future returns.” This is because the stock market is irregular.
With God, it’s a completely different story. God is steadfast and trustworthy. So with God, past performance does say something about the future. The Bible is full of recitations of God’s mighty deeds from the past. These are not included because of nostalgia.
Too often, our churches are infected by toxic nostalgia. We are tempted to remember “the good old days” which weren’t nearly as good as we remember them. We use our energy grieving a reality that doesn’t fit our memory of the past. We want to recreate some time from the past rather than pushing ahead.
We might be tempted to misread the recitations of history in the Bible. They aren’t there for nostalgia! God’s past deeds are remembered so that we always remember that God acts on our behalf.
This coming Sunday, we will hear the Magnificat in our lectionary readings. Mary’s song of praise is a remembrance of God’s deeds in the past. And that look backwards is meant to encourage us about the future.
As we look toward Christmas, we do well to recall how God has entered our world to redeem us. And we can expect God to work in our lives and in our world.