Thought for the Day: Can I be honest? I expect your response to be something along the lines of, “Bruce, we expect you to be honest. You’re a pastor.” Very good! My hope has been met with disappointment on more than one occasion. My faith-filled convictions that I truly believed aligned with God’s dream for this world have so often appeared to be coming to fruition, and then without notice, they came crashing down. Some of it has been as simple as an exciting program in the life of the church where it turned out that I was the only one who was excited. But other moments have come when it appeared as if something amazing was about to burst onto the scene. This was going to be the moment! And then, before my eyes, it crumbled. I am reminded of the sermon by Dr. Fred Craddock, entitled Bloody Knuckles, in which he told the story of an idealistic young pastor who spoke of an end to racism. After the sermon, an elderly African American man stood up and thanked the young pastor, but suggested that he might not fully understand what it was like until he’s stood at a locked door with bloody knuckles from knocking and knocking and knocking. Hope is a curious gift, might I say even frustrating at times. Maybe it’s because I want to see works of kindness and justice happen now, and as much as God would be in agreement, God uses human beings to make it happen… and we don’t always align ourselves with love and kindness. We sort of do, but then we use an escape clause or point to a distraction that gets everyone talking about something else. And the hope that was once very real appears to disappear. Paul wrote that hope does not disappoint us, and maybe he was right. Hope does not disappoint us, but the human response to God’s hope for the world can be a bit disappointing at times.
Prayer: Allow for the life of Jesus to provide us a clear picture of your hope, O Generous and Kind God, and then attach that hope firmly to our lives so it is what drives our decisions each day. Amen.
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