In the end is our beginning | Eastern North Carolina Now

Tom Campbell
    I've been attending too many funerals of friends lately, perhaps a further sign of my advancing age. They are especially sad during holidays, but in one recent memorial service the congregation sang a hymn that has been nagging at me ever since.

    It's a recent addition to our hymnbooks by modern standards, written in 1986. The title is "Hymn of Promise" and it has a beautiful melody, but also words of hope for us. The opening sentence of the last verse is what has repeatedly had me singing since the funeral.

    "In the end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;

    In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.

    In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,

    Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."


    The song's lyrics are filled with juxtapositions, and if you take time to reflect on them you realize there are so many things in this life we know and many that are unknowable. The line that kept coming to my mind since that funeral was the one promising that in the "end is our beginning." This is the foundation stone for the Christian faith, the hope, belief and promise that when we die, we will be resurrected to an eternal life. But I believe those words also apply to current issues.

    Naturally, at years end we understand that a new year follows the old, and we are always hopeful it will be better than the one just expired. We routinely express those hopes in New Year's Resolutions. I remember the end of last year, when we were hopeful that the pandemic that had gripped our world would end so we could return to more normal life. While our life has resumed in large measure, we still are not free from COVID and now must worry that RSV and flu are spreading. These viruses will be a part of our lives for some time.

    I would never consider myself as good a wordsmith as Natalie Sleeth, the hymnist for this wonderful anthem, but let me suggest we could unite in hoping that the war in Ukraine would end in the most favorable way for that nation....and soon. Who wouldn't want to hope that our climate concerns would abate so we could anticipate more centuries of life on this planet? And can we all hope the coming year would curtail inflation and forestall a possible recession? High on that list should also be the hope that we could eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of violence, especially gun violence so prevalent in our state and nation.

    As one who writes and speaks about public policy issues, my great hope is that we can reverse the threatening trend of nasty, ugly, divisive politics. I don't think I'm alone in worrying that we are reaching a point of no return in our partisan schisms; divisions that threaten violence and civil conflicts.

    Other concerns are heightened in our state. The North Carolina General Assembly will gather in January for what is termed the "long session," and there are many potentially divisive and contentious issues on the docket. We are promised yet another round of redistricting and we can only hope our lawmakers will not heavily gerrymander new district lines. Abortion laws, healthcare policies, education doctrines and tax reductions are potential topics - matters that even in the most congenial of times could create serious differences of opinion.

    Is it too much to offer a hope that our lawmakers would become more than partisans, that they would consider the hopes and concerns of the majority instead of just those from their own class, party or caucus? And that they would work to unite us on a path for future progress?

    Again, the words from this wonderful "Hymn of Promise" speak to us. "There's a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me." As we begin 2023, let us hope for that dawn, for new beginnings, for healing hearts, for peace among us, and for renewed faith in our nation, our state and especially in each other. Those would be wonderful New Years resolves.

      Tom Campbell is a Hall of Fame North Carolina Broadcaster and columnist who has covered North Carolina public policy issues since 1965. He recently retired from writing, producing and moderating the statewide half-hour TV program NC SPIN that aired 22 1/2 years. Contact him at tomcamp@carolinabroadcasting.com.
Go Back


Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )




Army Investigating Officers Who Wore Fetish Dog Masks While In Uniform On Social Media My Spin, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics The wrong shall fail, the right prevail


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

New business creation filings grew 40% in 2021 over 2020, for a total of 178,300 new businesses in the state.
The Penn Biden Center, a Washington think tank where classified documents were found in November, hosted an event encouraging deeper U.S.-China ties.
shift of ten percentage points from traditional conservatives in Lower Austria
University of Richmond changes name of law school, family demands $51 million back

HbAD1

A federal agency under the Biden Administration walked back comments it made earlier in the week that it was considering a ban on gas stoves in new construction or as a replacement product, citing concerns that the appliances may cause a rise in respiratory illnesses.
On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that a North Korea-associated hacking group had carried out a robbery of $100 million in cryptocurrency last year.
Theologians at the Claremont School of Theology put forward additional evidence that God has a sense of humor by pointing out that 1 out of every 20 pistachios tastes like flaming hot garbage.
Indiana taxpayers shelled out more than $100,000 to 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones for just over 24 hours of work, according to a contract obtained by The Daily Wire under public records laws.
There are several problems with ballot marking devices such as the one Buncombe County is considering.
Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is a world-class liar. He has told baldfaced lies about nearly everything — from being Jewish to (for some reason) leading the Baruch College volleyball team to wins over Harvard and Yale.

HbAD2

We all want what's best for our children. That's why it's important to educate them early on how to deny gender normativity and embrace dysphoria. What will people think if your child becomes a "normie?" That would be the worst!

HbAD3

 
Back to Top