2020 was a difficult and challenging year for many. So much so people are putting up the Christmas tree and saying 'bring on 2021', But is there any guarantee that 2021 will be better? We reflect on 2020 and find a way to ensure 2021 is more satisfying.
Our guests: Andrew Laird works for City Bible Forum in Melbourne and is the national manager for the Life@Work Conference - an initiative aimed at connecting Christian faith with our daily work. He’s a popular speaker and author.
Sharon Cheung. Sharon also works with City Bible Forum where she helps young workers navigate the early years of their work life and connects with women in the workplace. She’s also a popular speaker.
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Bigger Questions asked in this conversation
So Andrew and Sharon - today’s big question looks to 2021 - will it be better - because 2020 - wow! It’s nearly finished. But what a year - it’s hard to believe what happened. Some have suggested that if 2020 was a hula hoop - it would be made of barbed wire - so now we’re near the end of the year - how does it feel?
Now we like to kick off Bigger Questions with a couple of smaller questions to get us thinking. Today we’re asking Andrew Laird and Sharon Cheung today’s big question if 2021 will be better than this year - so our smaller questions to you are about ‘2020’?
What happened in 2020?
So this author claimed that 2020 was already emotionally exhausting way back in January. Did you find the rest of 2020 exhausting?
So as we look back over 2020 - it’s hard to believe what happened: Bushfires, Pandemics, lockdowns, Toilet paper fights, Zoom meetings, US Elections and impeachment, Brexit, Black Lives Matter protests, Global economic Recessions. We learned we even had a Chief Medical officer and Baby Shark became the number 1 video on YouTube.
It seems as if that’s too much to happen in one year - now whilst the word didn’t make the list of top trending words, how unprecedented do you think the events of 2020 have been?
So what do you think has been the most challenging thing of 2020?
Reflecting on 2020
What do you think we’ve learned from the 2020 experience?
What do you think the response to the events of 2020 reveals about our culture?
Looking forward to 2021?
So 2020 has been crazy and difficult. A sign in a shop window in Melbourne’s CBD described 2020 as a wrecking ball - so put up the tree and call it a year. There seems to be a sense of putting 2020 behind us and getting ready for 2021. Is that how you see it Sharon?
Yet David Beasley, the 2020 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, fears that 2021 might be even worse as he says that due to COVID-19. Conflict. Collapsing economies. Drought. We could be facing “famines of biblical proportions in 2021”. So who should we believe? Bill Gates - the optimist or David Beasley?
Bible: Certainty amidst uncertainty
The Christian message offers some insights to help answer today’s big question. Indeed many have felt that the Old Testament book of Psalms resonates with them throughout 2020. The Psalms are like the song book of the Bible and Psalm 46:1-3 says,
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
How do you think this connects with what we’ve experienced in 2020?
How has this resonated with you?
What does it mean for God to be a refuge and strength?
The Psalm concludes in verses 10 and 11,
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
What do you think this means for us as 2021 approaches?
The Big Question
So, Andrew and Sharon - will 2021 be better?