1 Corinthians 13:13
Practicing faith and hope are challenging disciplines for us when each day brings news that parts of the world are burning, flooding, and being lost to extinction. The effects of climate change draw nearer. When flooding caused the collapse of the Houston postal service station’s roof, our mail didn’t come for a week. (I’m certain that our notice about winning the Publishers Clearinghouse floated away in the floodwaters.) We know people trying to recover from a recent flood whose house isn’t repaired from the previous one. Some church members are dealing with the trauma of surviving a tornado that killed someone and seriously injured others.
Young people ask if it’s right to bring children into this world. We older ones who had similar fears at their age offer shreds of hope from the past. And youth such as Greta Thunberg, the Parkland survivors, and Malala Yousafzai offer us hope from the future as they work to better the world for themselves and their children.
Meanwhile, we embody hope by practicing our faith. We study, sing, and pray to the Living God who has seen humans through every imaginable trial. We work together to make every little change and to elect leaders to help make big ones. Paul reminds us that our work means nothing unless love undergirds it. We stay after church to snack and talk because we love each other. We gather around bonfires to sing and laugh. And we come to the communion table to remind each other of Christ’s body, given for us. Richard Hays reminds us that at the end of time, only love will remain. We won’t even need faith and hope anymore when all has been perfected and revealed.
How does your church keep faith, hope, and love alive in hard times?
God, you love this world so much that you sent us Jesus. Fill us with your love, and help us learn from Jesus how to love the world as you do. Amen.