Most of us, like it or not, have lost some contests. For myself, I’ve
been outvoted in so many recent elections that I sometimes feel as
essential as carbon paper. Though I’ve now grown accustomed to
being only one voice at the table, being only one voice at the foot of
the table can be galling.
This may have been how many Jewish people felt as the Christian
faith mushroomed. For centuries their faith had been a major player
among Mediterranean religions. Moses’ teachings were a cultural
icon. But with each passing decade, an upstart Jesus movement
nudged the religion of Moses aside. The Letter to the Hebrews is a
sample of the “dethronement” literature of this era. Tragically, rather
than appreciate and thank these ancestors for their continuing
contribution to our world and to us, some Christians discount them
as discredited and replaced.
Lately, however, the shoe seems to be on the other foot. We’re told that Christianity’s fifteen minutes on history’s center stage have expired. Non-specific spirituality is now chic. In response, we can bark our rebuttals, trying to prove we still belong at the table, or we can hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope (v. 6).
Hope is too often written off as an airy escape from reality. But investing in the long-reaching powers of God (which is what hope does well) injects steel into backbones and plants invincible confidence within our souls. Even if for the moment our cause seems lost, the outcome is sure when our case is in God’s hands. We can belong to hope eternal.
Where is your hope? How do you define hope? What role does it now play in your life?
God of hope, when the chips are down, keep me alive in hope. Help me experience the confidence and the pride that rightly belong to those whose hope is in you. Amen.