God Gives Hope: For The Future
There is a song, Uncle Dave's Grace, in which the family is gathered around the table for Thanksgiving. It is time to say grace, and someone asks Uncle Dave to do the honor. Ponderously and with excessive gravitas, he stands. Ten verses about disasters, social injustice, pollution, and deforestation later, "the wine's getting warm, and the bird's getting cold", he concludes with "Thank you for everything. Amen" and sits down. The poor family then has the last verse:
We felt so guilty when he was all through
It seemed there was one of two things we could do
Live without food in the nude in a cave
Or next year have someone say grace besides Dave
As odd as it may seem, I find this song very hopeful and encouraging. In order to have any hope for the future at all, we need awareness of the present, and Uncle Dave certainly has that! This family, too, might have the humorously phrased choice of living in a cave or asking someone, anyone, else to say grace next year, but I like to think that Uncle Dave's message got through to a couple people around the table. It raised awareness of desolation, and prompted family members to action, hope for a better future. Not bad for a Thanksgiving grace.
This Sunday is the third Sunday in the God Gives Hope sermon series, and the theme is Hope for the Future. The first step in hoping for a future is to be Uncle Dave, point out hard truths, facts that are tough to hear. Name difficulties - these are the troubled times from last week, clouded with the specter of despair. metaphorically huddled in the cave with the family from the song. But, remembering that Good Shepherd who leads us through the valley, that same love is in the cave, growing in the darkness. Hope for the future comes from the dark places, and like a creeper vine seeking the light, it grows and spreads. All we need to do is follow the vine out into the light.