People of hope

Published 10:25 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

Some day. People often think about the plans they make for the future. We have dreams and hopes that lie within us, or the longing, aching need that grips us deep in our bones. We make our plans, we make our to-do lists. We anticipate, we have anxiety, we mentally map out numerous scenarios that may happen, only to wind up going a different path altogether and the anxious hours are lost altogether.

Christians are often described as a people of hope. There is the promise of a heavenly future, certainly, but Christian hope is not limited to a distant horizon. We have a sense of hope in the current moment, for the ever-present “now” is created by God. It is filled by God’s gifts, infused with God’s Spirit and is always being shaped by God’s gracious, imaginative creativity.

Consider the biblical encouragement to behold God’s presence — not just in a future, someday, by-and-by – but today. This day.

Psalm 118:24 “The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice and be glad.”

Luke 4:21 Jesus said to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 “See, now is the acceptable time, see, now is the Day of Salvation …”

Joshua 24:15 “Choose you this day whom you will serve … as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Even before the world moved at the speed of microprocessors and mobile phones, the Christian community was an intentional call to slow down. Life gets full, no matter the millennia in which we live. We need space to breathe deep the Spirit of God, to remember God’s presence, to digest deeply and fully the scriptures, and to be formed by faith sung by those around us.

Christians are also called to be witnesses to each other of God at work in the world. As we move in the world, we are called to watch for and notice ways God is touching lives. We are called to see and celebrate and to share.

This week, I saw two people who had been estranged sit down for lunch together. I saw a woman who has been battling cancer smile brightly because she was having a good day. I saw a person who had been alienated from others and cast aside embraced and welcomed.

What will you see God accomplish this day?

REV. MICHAEL KENDALL is lead pastor of Farmville United Methodist Church. His email address is mkendall@farmvilleumc.org.