Wednesday, April 17, 2013


"We are to hope...that's what we do as Christians. We hope."

These words were spoken to me during a time when I feared for the safety of a friend. They're a good reminder to me still that this is what I am to do as a Christian. I hope.

In times of chaos and violence and great despair... I hope for a better tomorrow.

As I reflect on the violence experienced this year alone - the bombing in Boston on Monday, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the threats of North Korea, not to mention the local violence on the daily news - it seems hard to hope that we are progressing as a people to a more peaceful day. It seems more evident that we are growing more violent toward each other instead.

Yet, I am to hope.

Why? Not because that is the only thing to do. In fact, I think it is easier to be cynical and despair.

I hope because of who I am. My identity as a child of God - a believer in God - means that I trust (some days more than others) that God is more powerful than hate and violence. I hope because I know and trust that someday violence won't have the last word.

That's really what the Easter story is about... Death doesn't have the final word. Murder, lynchings, flogging, bullying...none of those violent actions won out. God did. Resurrection did. New life does, today.

It's not easy to be hopeful, especially when each new day brings a reason (or five) to despair. But, it is what we are called to do. It is who we are to be. People of faith. People of hope.

I wonder - engage me if you will - what church communities can do to foster better communication, peaceful ways of living together, more love. How can we speak out against violence? How do we preach (in word and action) love instead of hate?

Please post your thoughts...


  1. I would suggest churches try to help people to no. 1: work on their own issues--as individuals and as a community. Become more compassionate and loving people. No. 2: mentor local kids. You could make a huge difference in one person's life--there's no knowing what kind of tragedy might be averted by the fact that a child had a stable, loving adult presence in their lives when they would otherwise have been adrift. No. 3: volunteer anywhere in your community that people are hurting and need a kind, friendly face. Or, if your church has the resources, start your own ministry to people in emotional pain. Violence tends to come out of situations of intense emotional pain and relational frustration. Spreading God's love is best done person-to-person, one-on-one. It may seem like just a drop in the bucket, but a single person can wreak terrible havoc--so helping a single person might make a huge difference, too.

    1. Virgie,

      These are great suggestions! I hope to brainstorm with session about how we can give emotional support and outreach to our community. Have you and your congregation found ways to do this?

      Hope you're well!