It might sound funny but, sometimes I think we are scared of hope. In the broken world we live in, we can get tricked or taken in by those who promise good, but who do something else. Think about all the advertising we encounter in our day. Everything from cars to washing soap promise us our life isn’t complete with out what new thing they are selling. Or how incomplete our life is because we just don’t use or buy or wear the right product. We are sold HOPE of one shape or another. And we have all been suckered in more than a few times. Yet each and every time we buy what they are selling, we are eventually left wondering how much better are we, than before we bought what ever it was. When that happens to us enough times, I think we become more and more afraid of hope, because it hurts us when it fails.
As I move about our community, I meet a lot of people who seem think that the Church is a place that brings hurt. They are people who have come to a church for a while once and been stung. They are people who now view the church with great suspicion, hatred, fear, and even malice. Some of them think that churchgoers are judgmental and hypocritical. Some of them think that priests are slick hucksters or mean authoritarians. Some believe the church is out of date and irrelevant. Some believe that the message of Jesus is about all the things you shall not do and about making a person feel guilty. The truth is that you can find all those things in church. That is part of the broken-ness of our human condition. But because of this, many people today have hoped in the message Jesus promised by the church at one time and who have been bitten, now they refuse to listen to that little voice of hope that is calling out to them. They have chosen not to trust or believe that the message of Jesus Christ could possibly sooth their pain. These people then end up looking for hope some where else, or living life without it.
The Gospel message is a promise of hope. Hope in a midst of a broken and corrupt world. Hope of reconciliation and forgiveness for us when we allow our pride, selfishness, or greed get the better of us. Hope for forgiveness when we realise that we have deceived others or even ourselves. But we have to choose hope. It is a choice we need to make.
We can not choose when we were born, or to whom we were born. We can not choose to be a part of God’s creation or not, we are God’s. We can not choose if Jesus dies for our sins. That already happened two thousand years ago, but each of us does have one very important choice to make.
Our choice, as individuals, is whether or not to answer the call of the voice of hope.
The choice those around us face today is the same.
Let’s not be scared, choose Hope.