Nov 13

A Living Hope

Over the years, there have been some misguided souls who have taken Jesus’s words from Luke 21 as a picture of something to look forward to, something even to hope for. False prophets? Insurrections? Wars and rumors of wars and insurrections? Some people have been told to hope for these things, because when they start, supposedly, they will be signs that Jesus is coming again soon. Even worse, a few people have decided, from time to time, that we should make the signs ourselves, or at least lay the groundwork for them, to speed up Jesus’s arrival. In the 1800s, in the U.S., for the first time in the history of the church people started making charts and graphs to pinpoint the exact date of the end time, of the second coming of Christ. This started a way of thinking that still exists among some people today: a bizarre, strange hope for things to start going really badly, for destruction and chaos to take over, so that Christ will come again. This is a perverted hope, and one version I’ve heard of it in recent years has been among people who oppose caring for God’s good creation on the grounds that it’s all just going to be blown away anyhow. Continue reading

Nov 07

Saints and the Way of Happiness

It happens all the time, really without us even noticing it. You wake up in the morning, and it won’t be the first thing on your mind, at least, not most days. Instead, it will creep in, naturally, slowly, without drawing attention to itself. You’ll be in a conversation with a loved one and you’ll hold back, just a little bit, what you’re thinking about. Or you’ll double-check the locks on your house before you go out for the day. You’ll walk down the street and look over your shoulder a couple times. You’ll be asked how you’re doing, and you’ll say, “Fine,” which is only half-true today. You’ll hear your candidate promising to make you safer, to hold to what is rightfully yours, and you’ll nod in gratitude. You’ll be up in bed trying to sleep, wondering how things have reached this point in your life, wishing you had had the chance to change something, to be someone else for once. Continue reading