Advent Day 4: Hope and Change

The next two posts are similarly themed. If done correctly, the second should build off of the first. Let’s see if I can pull that off…

“But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” – Romans 8:24 (NIV) 

Forgive me if this seems too partisan, but there is an intricate relationship between hope and change that cannot be overlooked. Hope recognizes how things are and refuses to settle for what it has now. Hope is status quo-resistent. Hope is always about transformation. 

That makes the hopes of others problematic if you are not interested in change. If you are heavily invested in the status quo, hope becomes frightening, offensive, and threatening. That’s the crazy realization I have had about hope. My hope may be your fear. It depends considerably on where we are socially located. A redistribution of wealth is awfully frightening if you have and incredibly uplifting if you have not. Laying down arms feels much less threatening if you have less to defend. 

Paul tells us that we can’t be hopeful for what already is. Does that mean that people who live in comfort are inherently less hopeful? Doesn’t that feel problematic to a middle-class, American Christianity that is supposedly based in hope? Can we be hopeful and still protective our “stuff”? 

If hope and change are so closely related, it seems imperative that a hopeful people become far more comfortable with the idea of a world that is completely transformed from the one they have know. Perhaps even a world that had been radically reordered…

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