Practicing Hope

Article submitted for the Riverview Reflector's spring issue.

This year, the season of LENT in the church begins on Valentine’s Day. It is a long season – 40 days leading up to Easter – to reflect on what needs to change within us so as to bring about a greater expression of love, goodness, reconciliation, peace, in the world. In almost every corner of the earth we can see how life, for much of Earth’s population, is not going well. Violence, oppression, hunger, homelessness, devastation of people’s lives and cultures and the natural world are everywhere.  The Church at large is not exempt from contributing to what is happening. Listening to and watching the news, despair and powerlessness can easily seep in. At the same time, there are many good things that are being done in response to and to address the various issues. Many efforts, across the globe, by people and organizations in all areas of culture and society, on large scale and small, are working toward justice, equality, reparation, wholeness, well-being and enough for all.

In response to the sometimes-overwhelming helplessness that I feel, I focus on practical actions and attitudes that work against fear, mistrust, anxiety, greed. In our small congregation I am regularly encouraged by efforts made by committed folks to work toward connection and compassion with people in the neighborhood.

Our food bank that runs every 2nd Saturday, monthly (almost) Sunday morning breakfasts for the community, generous contributions of winter gear for people in need, and donations that come in from outside our congregation for the foodbank all give me hope.

In the midst of the Covid pandemic I remember hoping that we as a global community would come out of the pandemic kinder, more compassionate toward each other. I can’t say that I’ve seen that happen, at least not on a global scale. I am grateful for the season of LENT that comes every year – an opportunity to intentionally focus, personally and communally on living with greater intentionality and faithfulness to the common good. LENT, which means “spring”, represents a turning from barrenness to fruitfulness – a return to life in all its diverse fullness. May it be so, this year.

No Comments





no tags