Make Hope Visible
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
Make hope visible. After a divisive time and a challenging election, when we’re waiting yet again, I am calling the church to remember that we have an important word to speak in this time. Our witness cannot be quiet or diminished, but must be visible and strong. For when is the church valuable to our society if not in times of chaos, challenge, and division? That’s not to say that we’ve always handled ourselves well in those times, but we can today. We can choose to follow Jesus and point to the hope found in Him by loving others with the same unconditional love Jesus has for us.
Make hope visible. Hope is going to mean different things to different people today. At its base, hope is the knowledge and expectation that what we’re experiencing right now is nothing compared to what God brings in our midst and prepares for us in heaven. Hope means that we believe that better things are yet to come, and that we can be part of bringing them to life.
Make hope visible. Romans 5 reminds us that we grow so much during challenging times… “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Wouldn’t you say that this election cycle has required endurance? What kind of character has that endurance brought out in you? That character brings us to hope, hope that will not disappoint us! As we have been formed in this time, we are learning about how Jesus handled situations, about how Jesus continued to make hope visible. We too are called to make hope visible.
Jesus brought hope when his friend Lazarus had died, when Peter’s mother-in-law was ill, when hundreds of people had nothing to eat. He brought hope when a woman caught in adultery was convicted ALONE to die without the guilty man at her side. He brought hope to the criminals dying on the crosses next to him and to those who were crippled and in need of healing. How did Jesus do it? He spoke and he acted, choosing not to believe the worst of the situation or of the people involved, but choosing to believe in hope.
Make hope visible. Perhaps it’s a conversation with a neighbor who voted a different way from you, or an offer to pick up something from the store for a friend or family member. Perhaps it’s a positive and encouraging quote to post on Facebook or a phone call to someone who needs to talk. Perhaps it’s expressing your faith in all your conversations that we will find unity and common ground to move forward and keep everyone’s best interests at heart. Perhaps it’s sharing that you are praying for our country and for unity or standing with someone who needs your support. There are millions of ways to make hope visible, inspired by Jesus, because HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT US when it’s God’s hope.
This Sunday we’ll be using our prayer time to focus on prayers for unity and community in our country, with musical meditation to guide us. We’re looking at the first part of Matthew 25 about how we can be ready and willing to learn and grow as God calls us. Perhaps one of the ways you make hope visible is to share about our service and invite someone to join us on Facebook or in viewing the recording Sunday afternoon on the website, www. fallstonpc.org.
No matter what you do, keep these 3 words in your minds and hearts: make hope visible. It’s God’s hope, and it’s our job to show it boldly and with love.
Following Jesus with you,