Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hope Before Dawn

About 35 years ago I was walking on the beach. I actually started walking around midnight. I walked a long ways north, and then turned around and headed south, and then back north. Eventually, the stars you only see when the night is black began to fade as black turned to gray.

Occasionally, I could see images moving along the beach, but I couldn’t be quite sure what they were. Once I thought there was a deer out on the sand, but it wasn’t light enough to tell if it was a buck or a doe, or if it was not even really a deer at all. In the beginning of something you don’t always have the details in clear view. You may even find that some you thought were so firm and solid in fact is neither.

That is why hope begins in the dark. It is a clinging to that which we are certain of and yet do not know for certain. As Christians, our faith is boldness in the night. We don’t creep across the room as when we get up in the night to go get a drink or try to find the way to the bathroom in the dark without stepping on the dogs. We stride forward, stubbornly claiming that the dawn will come and we will realize that for which now we hope.

Faith is not simply believing that Christ can transform our society, changing all its prejudices and wiping away all its hatred; It is proclaiming in the street what Jesus said in the synagogue, proclaiming its truth directly in the face of all that would try to contradict it or cause it to fail.

"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
John 4:18-21

Our message is the same today. God’s favor is not in the distant future. It is for us and it is for now. We bring liberty. We bring peace. The poor have hope and the hungry have food because we, through the Spirit of Christ bring it to them today, not just offer it to them with the changing of the guard.

Pastor Craig