But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…1 Peter 3:15
I’m writing this to my Christian sisters and brothers.
We have a unique opportunity to live out our calling. In the days of COVID-19 and quarantine, our interactions with neighbors and loved ones have been curtailed severely. But we still have contact — thanks to telecommunication and video conferencing technology. If you’re like me, most of those conversations with loved ones center on the current crisis we’re facing and speculation about when things will “go back to normal.”
And that’s to be expected. But I’m reminded of something I believe from the depths of my soul: followers of Christ are to be the most hopeful people of all. And these present circumstances provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate the kind of living hope that Simon Peter references in the opening lines of the letter we call 1 Peter. It’s living hope based upon the resurrection of Jesus.
And when Hope comes alive in us, people will inevitably notice and ask questions.
And we will have an opportunity to talk about the hope that we have.
What a tremendous moment of ministry for us! Lord, give us eyes to see the eternal significance of this moment we’ve been given.
One important distinction: hope is not the same thing as optimism. It’s easy to confuse the two, especially today. And optimism is en vogue. I mean, check out John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” posts if you don’t believe me — each one has garnered millions of views. But optimism alone tends to be sort of naive if you ask me — banal assumptions like “people are good” or “the world is good” may make for viral viewing, but that’s not really Christian hope.
Christian hope rejects simplistic positivity in favor of a more sobering view: people usually AREN’T good and neither is the world. The world is often a dark, cold place. It will hit you in the mouth and steal your lunch money. The way of Christian hope leads first to the cross, a recognition of all that is broken and messed up in this supposedly “good” world of ours.
But it’s precisely in the midst of such darkness that Christian hope flourishes. Philosophically, optimism posits that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Christian hope affirms that we do NOT live in the best of all possible worlds — but such a world is on its way through God’s Messiah, Jesus. This is the only thing that makes us good — the transforming power of a God who is capable of restoring all creation, including humanity, to His originally good purposes.
This is our living hope, the hope of glory.
God’s world is on the way.
Until it comes, may we hasten it’s arrival by living out our hope amid these hopeless days.
For He is making all things new.