1 Peter 3:8-18
Last year during Lent, I gathered virtually with a small group to work through Christine Valters Paintner’s The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom. For the first time I realized that there could be something sacred, or even good, about my writing. Sure, I’d seen value in some of the journalism I’d done—I’d raised awareness about important issues, offered a megaphone to young conservatives, gay people, victims of sexual assault and drug abuse. But I never thought of writing, particularly the fiction I was trying to create, as something that God might see as good. I thought good works were confined to things like volunteering or buying groceries for a homeless neighbor standing on a cold street. Writing was selfish, I thought. It was self-indulgent to sit at a desk inventing characters on pages that might never be read by anyone outside my writing group. But Paintner’s book made me realize that callings come in a variety of forms and that following them means participating in God’s work too.
Peter says that expressing hope is our calling to pursue. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you (v. 15). My pastor is concerned that hope has gone out of vogue. No matter what your faith is, or your politics are, pessimism is fashionable right now. Expressing hope can make you sound ignorant or complacent. Others may ask for an accounting for the hope that is in you. People will think you don’t know what they know, read what they read, believe what they believe. But as I discovered about writing last year, I’d like to reconsider hope as a kind of calling to take on. Are you ready to join me?
What does your accounting for the hope that is in you sound like?
God, help us see the call to express hope as a joyful gift you let us open. Amen.