Monday, December 9, 2013

Hope is not a Wish (Sermon audio based on Romans 15: 4-13)

Hope is a word that is often used like love. Sometimes hope is attached to a vague desire--I hope you have a good day. I hope things turn out well for you. Make a wish and blow out the candles!

When the great teacher Paul taught about faith in Jesus, he wrote about hope. Hope in his letter to Roman followers of Christ was not something vague, but about expectation--expectation and trust that God will act, and act for good. How is that expectation formulated? In sharing the scriptures and the promises of God in community. Therefore hope is attached to God, not a vague desire or a wish. Hope for followers of Jesus today is related to our Bible reading, to see that God has acted in history. The stories of the saints of the church continue that reflection of God at work. Hope is developed when we share with others how we have experienced God in our lives--God acts today. We experience God today through activity like baptism, communion, service, friendship, and study. All of these things work together, yesterday and today, to encourage us in our thoughts for tomorrow--that God will continue to act for good.

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