I'm happy to tell you that I was immersed in three powerful signs of hope - before eating breakfast today! Here they are:
It was very cold this morning so when I woke up I decided to stay warmly in bed for a bit longer and listen to a You Tube clip of Brad Jersak speaking about Universal Hope. It was an excellent correction to the depressing end of the spectrum and had me getting out of bed smiling! He makes a thoughtful distinction between 'universalism' and 'universal hope'. His talk is 40 minutes long so choose a time when you can settle in.
If you happen to live in Auckland there will be a day with Brad Jersak at Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on July 20th. Click here if interested and scroll down in the events list. I highly recommend Jersak's book: A More Christlike God; A More Beautiful Gospel.
Next I did my usual quick skim on Facebook and came across a very exciting clip (4 minutes) of a range Church leaders in America offering a hope-filled perspective on what a Christian approach to life (and politics) means. This was stimulated as a corrective to what is currently being spoken about by the US President and many right wing Christians who often call themselves 'Evangelicals' but definitely don't offer good news. Click here (another 4 minutes, wait a few seconds for video to load) to see how 2,500 people joined these leaders and marched to the White House to express this confession of faith which they called Reclaiming Jesus.
Finally I turned to the book I'm reading currently as my "spiritual reading": The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian McLaren. I am up to a section about "social movement theory" - which sounds a bit daunting but actually turned out to be fascinating. Just one quote: "When institutions fail us... members of a community arise, organise and confront the institution by forming a movement. ...Movements organise people to articulate what's wrong with current institutions and propose what should be done to make things right." This, it seems to me, is what is happening in the church leaders initiative, and by other groups mobilising to stand up for what is right. This gives me a lot of hope. Maybe having blatant disregard for honesty, human rights and justice daily "in our face" is generating enough awareness to give rise to positive change. May it continue to be so!