June 2013

As disciples of Jesus and children of God, we have a hope that is immeasurable.  This hope is not based on our possessions, politics, position, or principles.  While human suffering continues unabated, from the international wars that crowd the daily news or even the unreported chronic physical and psychological ailments that many of us quietly endure, our existence is not pointless, nor hopeless.

For those of us who believe, who follow, who enter, who receive, who accept, who confess, who repent, who obey, who forgive, who overcome, who die to self, our hopelessness becomes our hope.  Death is not the end, for we find hope in the resurrection.  Just as Jesus died and rose again, we have that same hope propelling us forward in our present world, for that hope is a force that continues to radically alter humanity.

Our daily choices set us apart, defining that hope.  The world may reject us, but we will not reject them.  When life does not go our way, when we lose, or when we are crushed, our hope is never stronger.  This hope is not something we can push on people or force-feed through theological tubes shoved down their throats.  Everyone and anyone must choose to freely receive this hope.  It is a personal experience, revelation, and realization.  This hope can change the world—its societies, ethics, and practice—but never through coercion or deception.

We must remember we represent that hope.  When we share our opinion, when we post on Facebook, when we write or forward an email, our words and actions are being heard, watched, and scrutinized, weighed in the balance of public opinion.  While we are not here to court present popular approval or market to the masses, we also are not here to burn bridges.  Our hope in God’s grace is an unburnable bridge.  We must continue to build those bridges.  This hope empowers us to engage this world with a ferocious, fearless love.  Even when we disagree, we can love.