The Rector's Corner - "Hope"
Hope.... On what is your hope based; or are you without hope ?
I have a dream, today....I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough placers shall be made plain and the crooked places shall be made straight; And the Glory of the Lord shall be released and all flesh shall see it together. This our hope. This the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work, together, to pray together, to struggle, and to go to jail together. To stand up for freedom together knowing that we will be free one day. "Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, we are free at last." Dr Martin Luther King "Dream" speech Washington. 1963
When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead, and the browns, reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter dead. Remember then, that summer birds with wings of fire flaying come to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying. Just as new life will come from death, love will come with leisure; love of love, love of life and giving without measure gives in return a wondrous yearn of a promise almost seen. Live hand in hand and together we will stand on the Threshold of a Dream. Moody Blues Threshold of a Dream album 1969
Some of us were so blessed to have grown up in the 50's, 60's and 70's a time that culminated in the 1980's when things seemed to change dramatically. Most of life has been occupied with music in one way shape or form and we grew up at a time when hope seemed to be the keyword in popular music. The Moody Blues gave us "The Dream", Led Zep articulated their "Stairway to Heaven" The Beatles wanted to "Hold our Hand" and the whole era seemed to be a time of looking forward, of promise for the future, of regeneration recovering from the World War and the rationing and hardships that occurred. Street parties would occur at the drop of a hat, communities existed, real communities who knew all about their neighbours and cared about their communities.
Churches and chapels were at the heart of those communities and the police were respected and kept the peace with common sense and that air of authority that most of us were raised to respect. We now always seem to be talking about "the good old days" but I remember they were not that great with outside loos, only cold water in the taps and food rationing but those days seemed to be good measured against today's society. I look back with fondness on sharing our house with our grandparents, going to the village school and playing out in the street after school until dark.
Have you listened to popular music today? Have you heard what our children are listening to? So much of it is filled with foul language, bitterness, violence, racial hatred and explicit sexual language. We now seem to be living in constant conflict both at home and abroad. Our grandchildren are constantly bombarded with pressure to perform to produce and to prepare for a life which they are actually unprepared to inhabit.
Where is the hope? And what does the future hold?
The age between the end of the war and the 1980's looked forward and this was expressed in both popular music and the massive social changes that were taking place
Dr Martin Luther King in his "I have a dream" speech was lifting the veil on a new era in the United States preaching equality for all races regardless of colour. We are still fighting that battle in Britain, in society and in politics today. But ours was a generation that had that indefinable thing called "hope". Hope for the future and hope for our children and their children, hope in our society and the will to change things for the better and to get involved. If someone in my street was ill everyone got involved. If a family was in trouble everyone got involved. If there was a bereavement everyone in the street was involved.
Proverbs 29 verse 18 says "Where there is no vision (hope) the people perish."
I truly believe that we have lost faith in our leaders, lost faith in our society and lost faith in our future and as a result we have lost of hope..
We have no vision because all our dreams are shattered by a fractured and failed society, where our visions resemble a car crash in which all our ideals and plans and hopes are swept away. Our heroes so often seem to fail us, especially in public life. We put too much faith in humanity and are constantly disappointed. Today church numbers in many areas are in decline and this is so sad because the one place, the only place where there is hope, is in our faith in Jesus Christ.
God loves the world so much..(John 3:3 & 3:5) .Those are the words we need to say over and over to help to boost our hope. We will not find satisfaction, I mean real spiritual satisfaction in anything else, not in money, not in possessions, not drugs or alcohol, not in mediums or fortune tellers, nor deep relationships which satisfy only the flesh, not in holidays abroad nor in any other material things.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, St Paul reminds us “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Do you feel lost?
Do you understand some of the things I am talking about?
Does any of this resonate with you?
Here are some words to encourage you.
If you need more drop me an email. I don't have all the answers but I sure know someone who does.
God bless you in hope.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Romans 15:13 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 5:1 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Without Christ there is no hope.” -Charles Spurgeon
Psalm 39:7 And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Psalm 71:5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Psalm 43:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
Every thing that is done in the world is done by hope – Martin Luther
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
Psalm 119:81 My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.
Psalm 9:18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.