What do I HOPE for?
What do you HOPE for?
What does GOD HOPE for?
Three questions worth consideration.
Monday in Copenhagen political leaders from across this shrinking planet will gather to discuss how to keep our global weather from rising 2 degrees.
Such a small number – 2 degrees – with such huge implications. To succeed - the number of changes required are mind boggling. If those leaders fail, the costs to life are innumberable. Most of those costs will be borne by indigenous peoples living off the land, by the sea, dependent on earth’s diminishing abundance. These people do not have a seat at the table. The burden of our failure will also be borne by unborn generations. Women (in whose bodies the next generation waits) represent 15% of the delegates. The cost of not reaching this human goal will be borne by voiceless creatures. People of faith, the spiritual elders who are the natural stewards of Creation, also do not have a voice at the table.
How can we HOPE that those voices will be heard when the voices that serve the status quo are so loud? How can we HOPE that political leaders so dependent upon the machine that feeds on the growth of profits; that roars hungry in their ears, will hear the soft prophetic voices beyond the table’s spotlight?
Will there be some people at that table who have a strong faith that somehow a new day will dawn, that we might re-imagine the way we do the business of Mankind? Those people of a strong faith must convince the people who’s faith is weak - if that new day is to come. That new day requires the participation of people who are afraid to let go of business as usual. That new day requires the participation of people who believe more in the machine that’s worked so well for them - up til now - than in a day they haven’t yet seen.
The people of a strong faith in the new day cannot get there unless we all choose to go together. It’s not like some of us can just get up and go to a new planet, like we’ve gone to a new continent, a new country, or a new church to start all over again. That’s an old strategy that won’t work this time. We have to stay and work it out together.
In the church where I play; where they pay me to create and care for community, we have exactly the same problem as in Copenhagen. The future of our church is in question. Resources are diminishing at a disturbing rate. There are those who have a strong faith that somehow a new day will dawn, that we might re-imagine the way we do the business of God. But there is so much evidence to the contrary. The voices that are discouraged and afraid and know what they know and aren’t ready to “go for it” are loud and strong.
If this church fails then biggest losers are the people who don’t have a seat at the Church Council. The poor of the world waiting for a chance to see what they can do with some of the help we send. The children of this community who won’t get to hear the stories of faith that feed impossible dreams. The members of the community who’s lives will quickly unravel without the invisible threads of community service that the Jesus people weave. None of those people have a seat or a say at the Church Council.
The people of a strong faith have quiet voices. We seldom hear them above the racket that the high priests of economics make. Seldom are they sought out behind the wall of experts who dwell and tinker within the system that sustains their sacred status. The people of a strong faith don’t make a lot of noise. They are too busy working out solutions to impossible problems day by day, simple act by simple act. With selfless devotion to an impossible vision for an earth (or a church) generously, sacrificially, simply shared - they go about their lives as if it were already so. Their successes are small. Most go unnoticed – drowned out by the noise made by the daily doses of violence. Their numbers seem insignificant – when compared with the masses running for the cliff’s edge.
“Turn” their silent acts whisper.
“Return” their quiet prayers show how.
“Remember” the stories of faithful people – outnumbered - outpowered – who walked the path that the MAKER led them on.
“Redemption” they know comes only after the darkest place in the night is passed and the dawn comes as a gift when the candle of HOPE flickers weakly – when the oil that feeds the temple’s candle remains lit miraculously beyond it’s supply – when up against an empire a baby is born.
Can such HOPE be brought to the tables of power?
I say - Not bloody likely.
So where does our HOPE belong?
People of faith find HOPE at the centre of the wheel. They know that at the centre of their being, at the centre of their home, at the centre of their community, at the centre of this earth, at the centre of the wheeling universe we spin an arc thru – only at the centre - is HOPE.
Aged sages and tiny babes live from that centre. Those of us out spinning our wheels find energy, joy, and courage – when our own batteries run dry – at the centre. When the intoxicating important business of getting ahead is halted – at the centre we discover – re-discover the HOPE of the HOLY ONE – the source of all that turns – all that has been and ever will be – the quiet - often silent – voice that calls.
When you slow and consider the centre this season – will you hold my HOPE in the centre? I need your prayers to help keep me centered. You hold my HOPE. I’ll hold your HOPE. Together we’ll find a new gear to get us slowly, patiently - in GOD’s time - into that new day.
Check out the Copenhagen hopes link below.
(by the way, the time capsule was made by a friend at the shop that was my church in Trono)