Reflection for the Week
8th August 2016
A Word about Hope
Hope is a word we use a lot in church. And rightly so, because ‘hope’ for Christians is a powerful thing.
When we use the word ‘hope’ about our Christian faith we’re talking about something quite different from the dictionary definition; ‘a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’ or ‘to want something to happen or be the case’. Compared with what we understand to be our Christian hope, the dictionary definition is a wishy washy, aspirational word.
Christian hope, as William Barclay puts it, however is “the hope which has seen everything and endured everything, and still has not despaired, because it believes in God. The Christian hope is not hope in the human spirit, in human goodness, in human endurance, in human achievement; the Christian hope is hope in the power of God” (William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, The Saint Andrew Press, 1969, page 215)
I recently heard Christian hope described as ‘God’s love stretched out into the future’… just picture the image of hope as God’s loving welcome stretched out into eternity… God’s warm embrace to enfold us in every human condition… on earth as in heaven… this is good news for everyone.
So ‘may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’. (Romans 15:13)
SPACE churches take time to think