Romans 8 1-4 14 to finish
Three sayings on faith and hope.
Christ is both the object hoped for and the hope inspired by it, said Moltmann.
The faith we have takes its stand on hope and hastens beyond this world, said Calvin.
“Faith is about what is beyond the horizon of the humanly possible. Faith is exploring what people could never achieve by themselves. Faith is the mysterious need in us to get to where we could surely never go. Faith, in fact, is about what we call God. Faith is the inkling that we are meant to be divine, that our journey will go beyond any horizon at all into the limitlessness of the Godhead. Said mccabe
These ideas are all based on our reading today. They are more easily summed up by saying Christian’s are people of hope. We have been chosen since before we were born to know this hope, and we were led by the spirit to bring it into our daily lives such that we are here today.
Our faith knows as McCabe said that we are destined beyond the horizon, like the sun, just before it comes into sight, lights up the sky from something that is hidden from us for a short while just before it comes into view.
Knowing these things should, as Paul says , mean that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”.
This does not mean suffering is meaningless nor without value to god and we know this because of what’s about to happen in advent.
Jesus is coming to join us, as a vulnerable child born into poverty destined to suffer. So while his promise puts everything into perspective, we should see the, way he chose and chooses to join us in our suffering to prove that he isn’t asking for anything he isn’t willing to endure or doesn’t care about, Both then and now the Christ then and the Christ in us suffers with us present tense.
The fact that Jesus came and lived In Galilee are facts indisputable such that even atheists would not argue with them, we know however this is based on the narrow lens of science.
However, Christians have a wider lens, and our facts are based on more than the things we can prod or measure with a ruler.
Our facts reflect the true nature of the human condition and true nature of reality. Our facts also rely on the knowledge the holy spirit imbues us with that lets us know the dawn is just below the mountaintops.
This is why Jesus calls himself the way, the truth, and the life.
He shows us the way , we live the life , because we know the truth
Our faith our hope is built on the implications of these facts , and goes forward always in hope , on its promise.
The promise of being made whole and liberated from bondage and decay by being brought into the freedom and glory of wholeness by being the children of God. People who call god father and friend
This is why ours is a joyous faith, not one obsessed by misery or one endured in sackcloth and ashes, but one that lives in joyous celebration of the journey our faith has set us upon.
The perspective that gives to our lives.
This is the joy our lord asks us to share with others and is something we can do much more easily at Christmas a time when gifts of all types are shared.
The greatest gift of all we share is hope, because we are children of hope, and we bring all this world’s suffering into perspective for us and for those around us.
As we come into a season where the light of the world is joining us, our job is to share that light and the hope it brings.