I've said it before, and here it is again.
It is self-deluding to scan our environments, comb the mass media, for signs of hope, for a turn of the tide - if we neglect to watch for repentance.
For a spiritual renewal of society (a Great Awakening) repentance must be the first step.
There must be a recognition and repudiation of wrongness - then there must be a recognition of our own implication.
(Not, for example, a primary focus on blaming.)
To say: This is wrong, we were wrong.
You think you see a glimmer of hope? A leader speaks of Christ? But have they repented? When our leaders begin by repentance and tell us just what it is they repent; then we will know they may be serious
(Repentance is necessary, not of course sufficient, deception is possible. Antichrist will surely repent - partially. But piety without repentance is bogus.)
If they repent their own role in the collapse of our society then they may be serious, they may represent a turn of the tide.
(And this is not something subtle - a leader who repents... that is not something one sees every day.
(But I have seen it - Margaret Thatcher publicly repented socialism; the entire US political class repented racism - and has never stopped doing so, even when it became clear that un-religious, unilateral, specific and immoderate repentance had led to evil.
(Whether repentance led to good or not, because of repentance, these were deep, lasting 'religious' movements, not merely political expediency.)
And that is a thing we should pray for, when asked to pray for The Queen, The President, all those in authority. We should repent our own collusion, we should pray that our leaders also repent. Only then may God have mercy on us (until then it can only be a stay of execution in hope of repentance).
The Queen gave a strong Christian message in her speech to the Commonwealth this year -
- but the focus was unclear: it was perhaps coded.
I await repentance.