"Zechariah has to be one of my favorite characters in the whole Bible. Here he is, doing what he’s always done, doing what he’s supposed to do, keeping the faith, serving the Lord, taking his turn… not so much minding his own business as tending to the business of God. He is a righteous man. And BOOM! Here comes Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, smacking him upside the head with news that is just unbelievable. I mean, really unbelievable! . . . "
". . . Hope – what it means, what Christian hope is, how people find hope when they’re feeling hopeless. And we realized there was plenty to focus on in just that one word. Hope. . .
Hope is an orientation of the spirit, of the heart…
Hope transcends the world, and is anchored beyond its horizons…
Hope comes from “elsewhere”…
… from God."
As citizen’s of the kingdom of heaven, we wake up everyday, and live by the rules of heaven amid the violent, broken, and unjust powers of earth. We wake up everyday, and pledge allegiance to Jesus which is a pledge we make above the pledge to our country.
We take on Christ’s posture toward the world, with all of his humility, all of his gentleness, all of his sacrificial love and we follow him. We follow him as he reimagines the world. We follow him to work until all of the world looks like Christ’s Kingdom. We follow his way of love, until the barriers that divide us are broken down, until mountains are lowered, and valleys are lifted up, and all people can live on the same level.
The more I am able to love others as myself, the more I am acting out the way God intended, the more fully I am living into my best self, and the more I am living as a blessing to myself and others. These commandments aren’t “shoulds” and “oughts,” they’re an invitation and a calling.
But living them out requires things of me. The first is that I take responsibility for my own spiritual path. No one can do this for me.
When we look at the journeys of our loved ones who have gone before us, we see their sacred pilgrimage. And it gives us heart for our own journey. When we think about the ways they faced adversity, or moved from fear to faith… when we remember how they moved from offense to forgiveness, it gives us heart to move ourselves. The saints who have gone before us are our teachers. They tell us, even from the grave, what is important. Perhaps even more in their death, we hear them clearly. Perhaps we are simply more ready to listen . . .