How is hope, for you, tied to activism and justice? How are we, as individuals, called to preach peace and hope right now?
When our Congregation became Hope, did we think a new name would mean anything more than a name? Would it affect who we are? Our identity? Our Mission?
I believe that we have come to know Hope as our virtue, the one that understands and is never dismayed by the imperfections that haunt our lives. It doesn’t carry the power of Faith. (Jesus didn’t say, “Your hope has saved you.”) And it isn’t our ultimate goal, Love, “the greatest of these,” the perfect virtue that fills eternity. Hope is what we can hang onto now when circumstances are destructive and we are desperate. . . circumstances such as how to deal with the chaos provided by our bullying, self-involved president.
Hope comes alive in bad times. It fits with justice because no one works for justice when the times are good, when everyone is treated fairly. It’s in times of trouble that Hope wakes us up, shakes us out of indifference, and demands our best—not someone else’s best, but ours. Hope wants our passion and our energy. It offers a partnership with God and blesses the hard days with a conviction of rightness.
Father Richard Rohr seems to speak of our relationship with Hope when he says,
“It seems all God wants are useable instruments who will carry the mystery, the weight of glory and the burden of sin simultaneously, who can bear the darkness and the light, who can hold the paradox of incarnation—flesh and spirit, human and divine, joy and suffering—at the same time, just as Jesus did.”
No matter how bad the times are, Hope validates us as God’s “usable instruments.” Can this kind of Hope be preached? Right now! Isn’t that our Mission?