Hope

Victor Mughogho works with local churches in southeast Africa to address the effects of climate change. But is it enough?

Adam Taylor 3-28-2013
Dome inside the U.S. Capitol Building, gary718 / Shutterstock.com

Dome inside the U.S. Capitol Building, gary718 / Shutterstock.com

This week a large number of Americans are celebrating Holy Week, leading up to Easter Sunday. Churches will be packed with both the regulars as well as the once- or twice-a-year worshippers for the "Super Bowl of Sundays" to celebrate Christ’s victory over death and sin and his glorious resurrection.    

In the midst of an exasperating and polarized political debate around the U.S. budget, our national and political leaders can learn valuable lessons from Holy Week. Whatever your faith background may be, we could all benefit from a greater commitment to the humility, shared sacrifice, and hope that Holy Week embodies. An extra dose of humility, sacrifice, and, ultimately, hope represent the balm that could bridge many of our ideological differences and resolve the current political impasse around the budget that has paralyzed our political system and divided the nation.

Tom Ehrich 3-26-2013
Empty tomb of Jesus, Tiffany Chan / Shutterstock.com

Empty tomb of Jesus, Tiffany Chan / Shutterstock.com

In Christianity’s passage through Holy Week to Easter Day, a moment of truth will arrive.

Every detail is well known, thoroughly studied, and dramatized by Hollywood and homespun pageants — and the familiar story will reach across the divide and touch, or try to touch, every person who is listening and watching.

Many will get it, especially if they live in circumstances where people get falsely accused by the self-righteous; where the weak and vulnerable get mistreated by the powerful; where physical suffering is a daily occurrence; where death seems like the only next option.

That audience could well comprise the bulk of humanity — those who endure poverty, starvation, and violence of epic proportions, those who live in more prosperous lands and yet are the oppressed, the ignored, the expendable.

For that audience, the Gospel message is profoundly good news.

Martin L. Smith 3-14-2013

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C

Rose Marie Berger 3-14-2013

Baptism means we are imprinted on Christ.

Edwidge Danticat 3-14-2013

A rendering of the reconstructed cathedral.

Haiti's once and future cathedral is a place of healing and memory.

The "hope and dreams" in Springsteen's song are those of the immigrant, the refugee, and the runaway slave.

Eboo Patel 1-07-2013

The stories we tell today are simply the next chapter in an overarching narrative of hope, justice, and pluralism.

Kenneth Tanner 12-10-2012
Photo: Advent candles, week 2, © haraldmuc / Shutterstock.com

Photo: Advent candles, week 2, © haraldmuc / Shutterstock.com

This Advent, as we wait for the true light who is coming into the world (John 1:9) we pause and reflect on our Christmas hope. As a friend said last night, we do not linger forever in uncertainty but as an expectant mother who labors in anticipation of the joy her child will surely bring.

Our assurance of salvation — past, present, and future — depends on the unique person of Jesus Christ and our relationship to him, and there's perhaps nothing more central to Jesus and our relationship with him than that he became flesh, was made like us in every respect (Heb. 2:17), so that by grace we might become partakers of his divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

This isn't something the church merely teaches but an event of history, revealed for all men and women in the one-of-a-kind person Jesus is, the human and divine Son of God. From the moment of Christ's conception, eternity himself inhabits time so that events of his life on earth long since past are forever present to us in Jesus. This is one reason our joy at Christmas is so palpable and real ... when we worship Jesus at Christmas, we are once again with Mary and Joseph on that cold, dark night as they swaddle “he who made the starry skies” and lay him in a manger.

Anne Marie Roderick 11-27-2012

Kelvin Hazangwi

Kelvin Hazangwi, executive director, Padare/Enkundleni Men's Forum on Gender in Harare, Zimbabwe

Kenneth Tanner 11-07-2012
Allison Joyce/Getty Images

People react to election results in New York City's Time Square. Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Whether your guy won or whether your guy lost, do any of us believe that politicians or the political process can unite us or solve our nation's deepest troubles (the most serious of which are not economic)?

If you feel great or you feel lost, is your honest hope in a political messiah? Can our political leaders give us a vision of human flourishing that comes close to the personal and societal transformation available to us right now in the New Creation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

These idols we fashion, these men and women we are tempted to worship or in which we place our ultimate confidence, cannot heal us or bind up the wounds of America.

Martin L. Smith 11-02-2012

Reflections on the Common Lectionary, Cycle C

Donna Schaper 11-02-2012

Advent marinates us as we prepare to taste Christ's arrival.

Jim Wallis 11-02-2012

Take heart! A new generation is ready to lead.

The Editors 10-10-2012

An opportunity for gang peace in El Salvador

Sarah Johnston 10-02-2012
"Honja." Photo by Cathleen Falsani.

"Honja." Photo by Cathleen Falsani.

My neighbors signed my report card.

Having had the same conversation countless times in my life, I have learned that one sentence sums up a cacophony of explanations.

It is tricky, I have found, trying to explain why friends are listed as my emergency contacts, why I wake up Christmas morning in the home of people to whom I am not related, and why my parents — both living — have been anything but.

The separation started so long ago that I struggle to remember exactly when it began. When I was starting middle school my mom’s depression hit hard and fast. My dad, who understands love as a finite commodity, could not muster any for me. Loving her meant giving all of it to try to save her. His attempts and inability to do so created a stress that amplified his MS from inconvenient to disabling.

In a moment, it seemed, they were gone.

We were wealthy and Southern and had everything that went along with both: a close-knit community, punctilious social obligations, and money to stay afloat. In the world in which I grew up, everyone surely knew everything about everyone, but damn if they weren’t polite enough to pretend it was all OK. It was a magnificent masquerade.

But the truth remained: I was an orphan.

Paul Wellstone showed us that politics "by the people, for the people" is actually possible.

Ron Browning 9-01-2012

Revelations abound when refugees study the Bible's last book.

Jim Wallis 8-01-2012

Baseball on the infield chalk, David Lee / Shutterstock.com

Our call from God is to offer hope where nobody else does.

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