Monthly Archives: October 2016

Hopeful Expectation

Several months ago, I was asked, “Where is your faith?” A humbling question for a pastor and spiritual director who wants to share her faith! It was as though Jesus was saying to me, “O you of little faith!” As I spent time with God praying and pondering this question, I thought about this passage.

…O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” ~Luke 12:28b-32

Ironically, the things I worry about, the clothes I put on and the food I eat are a necessary part of my day to day experience. But I have come to realize when I spend more time trying to make my “kingdom” look and feel good than seeking after God’s kingdom, my faith starts to disappear. How quickly a day filled with hope can be interrupted by fear, anxiety and loneliness.

Jesus wants us to realize that what we are seeking makes all the difference in our day to day lives. In the Greek translation of the word seek there is an element of hopeful expectation. Therefore, I have to ask myself whether or not I seeking after the kingdom of God, where hope replaces anxiety, faith replaces fear, and friendship with Jesus replaces loneliness. Moreover, am I spending enough time with Jesus throughout my day to choose God’s kingdom where what I worry about no longer defines me?

The good news is that when my one desire is to truly seek after God’s kingdom then hope, faith and friendship with Jesus are added to my life. This quote describes for me what it looks like to seek daily God’s kingdom:

You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing total contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.  ~Dallas Willard

And when I arrange my days this way, I have something to share with others, the hopeful expectation that comes from living daily in God’s presence.

Where is your faith? How would we answer that question today?

Christ’s Name: A Signal of Hope

Look well at my handpicked servant;
I love him so much, take such delight in him.
I’ve placed my Spirit on him;
he’ll decree justice to the nations.
But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice;
there’ll be no commotion in the streets.
He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings,
won’t push you into a corner.
Before you know it, his justice will triumph;
the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even
among far-off unbelievers.
~Matthew 12:18-21

Hope is a constant theme in the Old and New Testaments.  In Matthew’s gospel the prophet Isaiah’s words about hope are quoted above in the Message translation.

We put our hope in the reality of the Kingdom of God today and beyond, trusting that God’s justice will indeed triumph.  We identify ourselves as people of hope because we believe that Christ has diedChrist has risen…Christ will come again.  

As God’s people, the name of Jesus inspires hope within our hearts and souls to because while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  The good news is that Christ loves you and me with a love that is sacrificial, pure and unconditional.

May God’s Spirit be placed upon you and me so that we may be anointed with hope and rejoices at the mere sound of Christ’s name.