Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Hope

 


We are told in the Bible that God created people in His own image. This applies as much to our enemies as it does to our own children. Jesus taught us: 'love your enemies' and to 'turn the other cheek' in response to violence from others. This may seem easy if your worst enemy is the lady that took your favourite seat in church. Much harder if your enemy is attacking your country, killing your friends or abusing your family. Desmond Tutu saw for himself that responding to violence with violence breads hatred. The almost impossible concept of responding to violence and hate, with forgiveness and love, when realised, has the power to bring a slice of heaven right here to earth. 

I have been thinking about the people committing atrocities in Ukraine and how much God loves them. A tough truth - imagine how conflicted and confused Ukrainian Christians are feeling right now. The stories of the lost son, the lost coin, the lost sheep: repeated teaching that Jesus came for the lost. God has limitless forgiveness for all who return to Him, He rejoices in reconciliation. How can we condemn anyone as evil or any situation as hopeless when God is still longing for them to turn-around?

Hope. I don't believe anyone would make the conscious decision to live without it. So, why do so many of us face our challenges with negative outlooks? I notice myself looking online at world news, with a feeling of dread in my stomach before the page has even loaded. Entering into conversations about Ukraine's war feeling dismal and helpless. Categorising and judging people and situations as if there is no room for movement or change. 
Did I choose to abandon my hope, did I decide it's impractical or naive? No! Trials, tribulations and suffering like to wash it away before I notice it's missing. 

We need to protect our hope; nurture it and grow it and choose to bring it along with us into every situation. We need to think about where our hope comes from and how we can keep it topped up and held fast. 

My inspiration for blogging about hope today came from Lance, one of our base leaders. He asked me and Josh to help organise an art exhibition in a local coffee shop with the theme of hope. Hopefully(!) this will come together before we leave for the UK in a few weeks. It will be a great way to connect with the community in a different way than we have before and everyone surely loves a bit of hope-inspiring art! 

Other news from us is that Joni is 4 years old today. I'm watching her now, completely engrossed in her new birthday lego set, having some quiet time after a mad day of games and cake with her friends. I am pretty big and hoping the baby doesn't make an appearance early, I feel ready to pop! Josh is awesome as always, he finally agreed to play and sing some of his new worship songs to the team last week and they were beautiful. I'll keep our news update short because we will see you ourselves in a few short weeks (hurrah!!!!).

Loads of love xxxxxx







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