Posted 05/05/2018 14:06:31
I have just come back from clergy conference; the theme this year was “Hope”. A great deal of talks were asking “What is hope?” how does it differ from desire, for instance?
Most of us were in fact hoping for the weather to improve (was this hope or just a desire for some warmth?)
Within these talks it was interesting to note how often the speaker when talking about hope ended up talking about love or faith. We shouldn’t be surprised of course; faith and hope and love go together and become intertwined in all sorts of ways.
One of the talks included a video clip listing all sorts of examples of everyday things “hoped for” and within it a question that I have been pondering ever since, “Do we make hope or does hope make us?”
As ever, for me, my answer will probably depend on the context in which the question is set; however a simple answer is yes.
Does hope make us? – Yes it does. The hope to which we are called as followers of Jesus Christ; the hope that the promise is sure and true – I am with you always, even to the end of time; the hope that at the end we shall hear the words “Well done good and faithful servant, come into the kingdom prepared for you”. All of this hope makes us the people of the church of Christ, bearing witness to him an all places and at all times. These are the hopes that make us Christian; this is the hope that makes us able to face the world in love and joy whatever the world may bring to us.
The other part of the question was “Do we make hope”, again the answer is hopefully yes. As the church of God in the parish of Rushall we are called to make hope visible to the people of Rushall. To share the joy and the hope we have with others, our job is to make hope for others and this is something that we shall be looking at on our parish away day in June.
We shall be looking at how we can make our church worship and ministry more meaningful to the everyday experience of those who come, we shall look at how we can strengthen ourselves and others in faith, hope and love, we shall look at how we can make the knowledge of God’s love for us an everyday day experience of every moment of the day.
Our hope is that as many as possible will come to contribute to the away day, to share what is good about our church and to explore how we can use all that we are and all that we have to touch the hearts and lives of the people amongst whom we serve.
Hebrews 11 reminds us that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” – hope then is the very basis of our faith and its expression is seen in love. We are then in every way people of hope.