live into hope and change the world!

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O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
    from every kind of sin. – Psalm 130, 7-8

I often write about serious topics, offering commentary on events such as last month’s Paris attacks, and the San Bernardino shootings this past week (look for a post on San Bernardino soon).

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking at everything through the Advent lens of “Hope.” God sent Jesus for a reason, and the gift of amazing love is still cogent, available, powerful, redemptive, and transformational in this desperately needy world.

IMG_4253LEADERSHIP: So I talked about “Christmas Hope” with my Wednesday evening men’s group. We enjoyed a positive conversation; then, when it came time to share prayer requests, several of the guys asked the group to pray for the world, and for world leaders.

“And then I think about the upcoming elections,” one man said. “I want to pray that God will send us the right leaders, but I’m not sure that we’re giving God much to work with!”

He was joking, but there was an edge of real concern in the wisecrack.

So another man picked up on the serious part of the request. “How about we all pledge to give God ourselves to work with?” he said. “Maybe the question isn’t about global leadership, so much as it is about those of us here around this table, and about trusting God to use us as the leaders we are called to be…?

Maybe the question isn’t about global leadership, so much as it is about those of us here around this table, and about trusting God to use us as the leaders we are called to be…?

IMG_4255PROPHETIC WORD: It really wasn’t a question so much as it was an inspired prophetic word (Yes, we do have inspired prophetic words here at the Presbyterian church!).

If we want the message of hope to resonate; if we want it to reach this world with the initiative of love; if we want to see real change in response to the truth of the gospel; then our opportunity is to live into hope, to live as if we really believe, to actually be the presence of Jesus.

Like we said, it’s exactly why God sent Jesus. And it is what he has saved the rest of us for.

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file photo from DOC men’s retreat

Hope may look like a baby, in a manger, a pinprick of light opening new possibilities to a dark world… but hope also looks like circles of men, sharing their hearts with one-another, praying together, and promising to live as intentional followers of the Living Way.

– DEREK

 

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