Our Hope

A dandelion in a dewey grassy area. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 24

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

1Timothy 1:1 ESVUK

The dictionary definition of hope (I typed define:hope into Google) is: ‘a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.’ The Bible defines hope in Jesus Christ as: ‘confidence that he will complete what he started.’ There is no discrepancy between these two, but there is a certainty in Christian hope because of Christ’s faithfulness.

When I think about Christian hope for myself I am drawn to the verse from the Nicene Creed, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,” All those Anglican Communion services have got this etched into my mind, and it is no bad thing. The creeds of the church are useful for reminding each of us what the Church believes, especially when we struggle in some areas. I think there is always some struggle in Christian belief. I’d rather struggle with a text than be told, “You must beleive this passage in this way.”

But hope is a two-edged sword. We have hope in Jesus Christ so that we may become hope to other people. Christians have a responsibility within society to do good and to not do bad. We should be caring for the vulnerable and not hitting down at them, we should be speaking truth to power, not sucking up to them. We can make a better world.

The rise in extreme apocalyptic and millenarian beliefs has led to a decrease in many churches teaching about Christ’s coming again. We need hope in these times, we need to get back to a strong belief in Christ’s return without getting into the forbidden practice of setting a date. It could be in this generation, but we just don’t know. We need to live pure lives as if his return is imminent but work for people and the planet as if it will be for some future generation. Jesus is our hope, we should be other people’s hope.

Christ has diedChrist is risenChrist will come again. Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.

We must speak about hope. We must be hope.

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