let me begin by saying that this is probably not what you want to hear, you see I really don’t know where to begin. I see where we are spiritually and practically and I honestly don’t know where to turn.
BUT I have hope….
I have hope that whatever comes, wherever the path ahead leads us, be it into the deepest valley of up to the highest height ( and I suspect we will see both), I have hope that life and love will win through.
I have hope, but hope calls us to change, calls us not back to the past but into a future that we cannot see the full shape of. Oh I have some thoughts and ideas, but I am willing to let them go as the path ahead unfolds before us.
I have hope because we are called to dare to walk in step with the one who offered his all for us, but we must be aware that he calls us to take upon ourselves his yoke (Matthew 11:29), we are not called simply to prayer but also to action, we are not called simply to wait on him, but also when the time is right to step out and work with him. I have hope because I believe that we will find both within and outside of ourselves the strength and resources that we need. This is not blind faith but an acknowledgement that we are called to search and to seek and to mine deep for those resources.
I have hope because I truly believe that when we reach the end of our rope that is where we will find the God who is the strength of our weakness.
I have hope, but I also have concerns, partly because Iknow myself, and I know my own capacity for giving up and throwing in the towel. I know my own tendency to run ahead or lag behind, and I know my own fear of making mistakes. Yet I have hope because I am daring to believe that when I dare to lift my eyes and look to God for strength, and dare to put my hand to the plough and not look back, that the God who has called me in Christ will walk with me, that the Spirit who dwells with in me and brings the impossible out of my doubts will cause springs of living water to rise up within me. This God calls us to greater things than we can ask or imagine.
I have hope dear church, for because I can believe this for myself, I can also believe it for us together. I have hope because I believe that God is a God of the specific and immanent as well as the God of the awesome, unconcieveable, eternal and transcendent.
I have hope because I believe that we are called to this unique time and this unique place, and that God is present, alive and well and working among us. I have hope for us, and I hope that, that hope will well up and splash out and bring hope to others.
This will not be an easy road, it is a practical and a spiritual challenge, and because of that we are called to work and to prayer, and those things must work together. When we hit a wall of frustration, then we are called to our knees, when tears fall, and I believe they will then we are called to digging deeper.
I have hope, but I must be willing for that hope to transcend my deepest terrors and concerns about failure, I have hope because I believe that nothing is ever wasted in God’s economy of grace. So as we walk into this time of change I pray that we will walk together, taking upon ourselves the yoke of Christ. This will not be easy, but I have hope, and I hope that you will join me in grasping this hope….
So I end with a prayer….
Loving Lord, keep us as the apple of your eye, and shelter us under your wings, teach us to walk with you in the unformed rhythms of grace and lead us as we work with you into your future. Show us every step of the way the details and opportunities that we might miss. Be our guide, be our strength, be our comfort and our consolation, and may your glory shine through us. AMEN
Sally- a minister in hope and in weakness