Saturday, April 19, 2003

Words about Hope

Leahkim! Thank you for the ideas – since you’ve been reading Homeland, I’ll thank Lu Xun, as well!

You said:
Hope is not a virtue that was with us from the beginning. Hope is something that springs forth from nothingness. Hope is something that exists only for those who know how to hope. Hope exists only for those who believe in it. And in the end, those who persist in thinking that hope does not exist, simply end up proving themselves right.

I want to pick up on “Hope…springs forth from nothingness” and “Hope exists only for those who believe in it.”

Hope springs forth from nothingness? So true: creation and re-creation and the New Creation spring forth from:

1) emptiness, void, abyss

2) Chaos, disarray

3) Death. Absence of life.

God’s living Word, Jesus Christ calls forth Creation, re-creation and the New Creation.

As we move into Easter but look back to Advent, the beginning of the church’s liturgical year, the way God’s judgment always is illuminated and clarified by hope – often joyously dancing out of sin, aimlessness and destruction - is unmistakable, just as our endless immersion in God’s ever-present compassion, mercy and love is abundantly plain.

As we meet Christ Jesus, the One both crucified and risen in the Eucharist and in the world – in one another and especially in the stranger, sojourner and the not-like-us in our midst and also beyond the confines of our neighborhood – and as we offer hospitality to that alien – we, the Church, the Body of the risen Christ, as individuals and as a community move beyond hope to actualize and enact in our midst a time of salvation and of wholeness both for the “other” and for ourselves! All of us, the outsider and those we know and who are similar to us journey from an absence of life and community, from nothingness and emptiness between “us” and “them,” to connectedness and community: to life and the possibility of even more life!

But does the hope capable of generating life in this present moment, that evokes the presence of Spirit…does hope exist “only for those who believe in it?” I’m not convinced! In the Biblical witness – and each of our lives – so very often God works mightily in spite of us, far more frequently than because of us! But I am persuaded a lively hope can be a whole lot easier for those of us who’ve already experienced it and who because of experience find trust in hope easier.

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