I finally just had to turn off the daily news on television, turn off the reports on the radio, and put the iPad down. It was, as you know and feel, overwhelming. The reports of sickness, anxiety, economic concerns, political strife and hatred, and conflict around the globe were just too much for the moment. I needed to breathe. And I needed hope.
Which brought me to the question, “Can we find hope?” Really. No spiritual rhetoric. No platitudes. No cheap responses. Real hope for the future. I am firmly convinced the answer is yes. Of course, we must all ask where we are looking for the source of that hope and the sustainability of that kind of hope. The real stuff? Or just the flavor of the month? We require the genuine article.
Have you noticed that our Sunday morning journey through Matthew’s gospel is a recurring cycle of pain, despair, hope, and new beginnings? A parent, a child, a woman, and this week an extremely large crowd – all desperately in need of hope in the midst of questionable life. And all find their way to Jesus – walking, running, sneaking up behind him – whatever it takes, they keep moving toward Jesus. They rediscover hope and a new purpose, a new way of living.
It’s not yet Halloween, but I find myself leaning towards Advent. Yes, I need to slow down but I also need, we also need, that Christ nudge that guides us to the real thing – no rhetoric, no platitudes, no cheap responses. Hope grounded in the very presence of God. So… breathe. Rest. Lean into the Good News of Jesus Christ and discover new hope.