God Gives Hope: For The World
Of the four Sundays in this sermon series, this last one has been the week I have been looking forward to the least. How to preach Hope for the World without sounding trite and using the same platitudes that have been used time and again? Can I honestly say there is hope for the world when I turn on the television news or listen to the radio and hear violence, death, and destruction? The answer is an unequivocal "Yes, there is hope," but it is the certain conviction the stands fast in the onslaught of evidence to the contrary.
Analogies about the spring blooms returning, symbolizing hope for the future are pleasant and bring a smile, but it is a warm fuzzy feeling when we are starved for savory nourishment. Hope for the world starts small, begins with the awareness of what we can do for one another, and how to live together honoring the Spirit that lives in each of us. Consideration, compassion, forgiveness and understanding. These are the issues the early Christians faced, along with persecution and estrangement, yet they found the hope to continue living in Christ's example. The hope for the world starts as we each interact with the Light inside each other, treating that Light as sacred, worthy of honor. The Hope for the World branches out from there as former strangers feel the freedom to engage the Light. The Hope for the World is when we each speak Light to Light with each other, and it is reciprocated, then all creation will "sing to the Lord a new song for the Lord has done marvelous things." (Psalm 98)