But For The Hope
It had been a long day, and the papers in the briefcase hinted that the work wasn't left at the office. Dropping into his favorite chair he allowed it to swallow him as his eyes fluttered shut. And just at that moment before drifting into a deep sleep he jerked awake; his phone was ringing.
"Hello," he sputtered. The voice on the other end was crying, and he couldn't understand what she was saying. Piecing together the fragmented sentences he jumped up, grabbed his coat and knocked the brief case off the table as he rushed out the door. Papers spilled onto the floor and the evening of work forgotten in the moment of need.
Every moment is a choice between doing one thing or doing another. Most of the time the decisions are routine, dictated by todo lists and chores that need to be done. Interruptions are annoyances that must be navigated to accomplish each day's goal, but life is more than checking off lists. For believers in Jesus every moment is an opportunity to express a living hope that resides deep in our heart. We are motivated by something far greater than personal gain and achievement.
In the book of Colossians the Apostle Paul had heard that the Christians in that city had grown to understand what it meant to live out their faith in love. It was the deep and abiding agape love that sacrificed for the needs of others and sought the other's wellbeing before their own. They didn't pick and chose which Brother or sister received their love, but lavished on all those who called on the name of Jesus.
Their motivation wasn't recompense, they didn't love for the sake of applause. They sacrificed for one another because they had experienced the deeper and more abiding love of God. The were compelled to care for one another because they had grasped the depth of what God had done for them in Christ. They gave their money because their riches were in Christ. They gave up their time because Jesus was coming back and the days short. They engaged emotionally because their strength came from the Spirit. They understood that the earth was passing and their hope was secure in heaven. They had gained perspective. That doesn't mean that they neglected their daily responsibilities, but it put those responsibilities in proper order.
We are in an election year where the vitriol, petty name calling, and ambitions of men are revealing to us the character of our next president. Men who claim the name of Christ while dragging that very name in the mud. Where is the love, where is the sacrifice, where is the humility? I am embarrassed by the antics that are played out on the evening news. I am disappointed that the church revels behind their favorite huckster. The noise has left me wondering if there is any decency left in our county.
Then I see it. The couple praying in the corner. A helping hand giving a coat to the homeless. One man leaning on the shoulder of another after losing his son. Moments in time where the hope of the kingdom is expressed in the quiet corners of our lives. Love expressed not for the clamor of the crowd, but for the gratitude of a savior. I bow my head and give thanks because the light of Christ breaks forth in the darkness and reaches out in love. I'm just saying.