And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
A special friend and I began a conversation about living as people of hope; she is a Quaker and committed member of a Friends community, and so understood me to be speaking theologically. A retired doctor, she is also a committed conservationist, and a vegan – a person who has devoted her life to caring. When I invited her to tell me where she finds hope, I was surprised to hear her reply, which was simple and very incarnational: She finds hope in people’s changing ways of eating, especially those ways that reduce their carbon footprint.
Her reply made sense, however, grounding hope in physical (and implicitly, ecological) wellbeing as a foundation for spiritual wellbeing. My friend reminded me that we are people of the earth, made from stardust and returning, in the long run, to stardust – but very special stardust at that, beloved as scripture tells us of a Creator God, and accountable to that Creator God as well as to one another and to the world we were given to tend.
Scripture also tells us that our Creator God understood our need, as physical beings, for an incarnational experience of that godliness, in the person of Jesus whom we named the Christ, the anointed one – the person in whom our hope could live because he so showed us the face of love.
In times of darkness or challenge, where do you and I find hope? And most importantly, what changes may we all need to make in order to embody that hope for others, especially those who follow us on this good green earth?
Appointed readings for today: Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32